In a recent development, Sourav Ganguly, the former captain of the Indian cricket team known for his forthright opinions, has cast doubt on the necessity of preparing turning tracks in India.
Expressing a growing conviction, Ganguly advocates for playing on good wickets, citing the exemplary performance of fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Sami, Mohammed Siraj, and Mukesh Kumar. His sentiments contribute to a larger discourse on the strategic choices in preparing pitches for home Test matches, signalling a potential shift towards prioritizing quality wickets over spin-friendly surfaces.
“When I see Bumrah Sami Siraj Mukesh bowl . I wonder why do we need to prepare turning tracks in India..my conviction of playing on good wickets keeps getting stronger every game .. They will get 20 wickets on any surface with ashwin jadeja Kuldeep and axar .. batting quality dropping because of pitches in last 6 to 7 yrs at home ..good wickets are a must .. india will still win over 5 days ..@bcci,” Sourav Ganguly wrote on ‘X’.
When I see Bumrah Sami Siraj Mukesh bowl . I wonder why do we need to prepare turning tracks in india ..my conviction of playing on good wickets keeps getting stronger every game .. They will get 20 wickets on any surface with ashwin jadeja Kuldeep and axar .. batting quality…
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) February 3, 2024
Ganguly took to social media to highlight the issue, emphasising the importance of good wickets over rank-turners. This comes in the wake of India’s strategy backfiring in the opening game of the five-match Test series against England, where the spinning wicket played into the hands of English spinner Tom Hartley, who took seven wickets, leading England to a 28-run victory.
The struggles don’t end with the bowlers; Indian batters, including KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Shubman Gill, have found it challenging to adapt. Even renowned all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin failed with the bat.
Ganguly, who previously implemented the policy of turning surfaces during his tenure as the President of the BCCI, now advocates for good wickets. He believes that India, equipped with fast bowlers like Bumrah, Sami, Siraj, and Mukesh, can take 20 wickets on any good track.
As the debate unfolds, the focus shifts to the ongoing Test series, where seven Indian wickets in the first innings of the second Test were claimed by English spinners. The concern is palpable, with memories of the 2012 Test series defeat against England resurfacing, where rank-turners proved challenging for the Indian team. Looking ahead, it will be intriguing to observe how the Indian team addresses this mounting concern.
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