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Anil Kumble - Insight Edge

Get professional curators and see the desired result, suggests Kumble

Monday, December 28, 2021
'Professionalize matters'

It should not surprise anyone that there was a problem with the pitch at the Ferozeshah Kotla. Even during the Champions League matches in October, the pitches came in for criticism. What shocks me is how from then until now, things haven’t been set right. I did read that they had re-laid the pitch and that is something I cannot understand. A poor pitch does not need to be re-laid, it just needs better and more preparation. In fact Delhi hosted an ODI against Australia after the CLT20 bash on a slightly better prepared pitch and that sort of work should have been continued with.

The Delhi Ranji Trophy team hasn’t played a single game at the Kotla this season and the only reason for that must have been the relaying of the pitch for the international game. Only in India is the home team’s interests kept aside for the sake of an international match. I have not seen this sort of thing happening in English County cricket, where the local side rules.

Had the pitches been properly worked on after the Champions League and Australian ODI, and a couple of Ranji games played there, these sorts of embarrassing situations could have been avoided. I only hope the incident is not swept under the carpet or forgotten when the next series comes along. I understand the ICC will have a role to play now and let’s see where it all leads.

The answer to such things is to professionalize matters. It’s the only way to bring in accountability. Under the existing system, the secretaries, the curators, the pitch committee, none of them can be held accountable. Get the pros in, make them accountable and you will see the changes happening for the good.

That this happened at one of my favourite venues is sad indeed. The real losers here are the paying public, the people of Delhi. They deserve better.

As far as the series itself is concerned, there wasn’t too much difference between the two sides. Sri Lanka really challenged India but I thought the host team did well to hold its nerve in crucial moments. The last two games were not one-sided by any means but were still won convincingly.

Virat Kohli too would have convinced many people that he can bat! The 100 will give him a lot of confidence going forward. I think playing in the IPL has helped him immensely. He would have seen how a lot of international cricketers in his team prepared themselves and learnt from that. No one doubted his talent but talent alone won’t do. You need to back it with hard work and that’s what he seems to have done.

The real test for Virat will be from hereon. He’s already batted India to a win but cannot rest on that feat. He has to work harder to meet the higher expectations.

He will have his chance in Bangladesh, where the Indians will again meet up with the Lankans. It doesn’t make sense playing the Lankans again so soon. Surely, it would have been better to have played only the Bangladeshis in a bilateral series. As it is, the pitches are bound to be very similar to the ones in India, with 300 being a below par score at times, so they certainly didn’t need to play the same team all over again.