This match brought back memories of test matches in Sri Lanka in the early 90s. Sri Lanka consciously prepared home tracks with the objective of ‘not losing’. Winning would have been a bonus. Batsmen racked up huge scores at that time (and of course, India was on the receiving end on several occasions), including the highest test score of all time. But it made for terrible test cricket, with no hope of a result in sight. Sub-continental pitches are notorious for being batsmen-oriented, but statistics highlight the attitude of teams in play. Sri Lanka and matches played in Sri Lanka have the highest percentage in terms of number of draws for matches played.
Harsha Bhogle’s article today talks about how curators are burying bowlers with these kind of pitches. That is spot on. I’d like to add that they are burying the spectators and the game too. Test cricket has enough going for it to thrive, but you need to get the bowlers back in the equation. The ongoing matches in England are a case in point. Australia is due in India in October for two test matches. The Ashes hype aside, this particular match-up has been consistently produced good cricket for a few years now. I hope the pitches for these matches are sporting enough to have a chance for a result. That’s the least that can be done. And oh, no more India-Sri Lanka matches please!