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"Can we move on?" India coach bats away questions about imperfect pitch

Cricket

The pitch in Bangalore may be the obsession of cricket fans in Australia and India, but both camps are growing tired of talking about it.

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A spinner’s paradise was produced for the first Test at the request of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). That ploy backfired spectacularly.

Australia claimed a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series, while the BCCI could be fined almost $20,000 by the International Cricket Council for a pitch that match referee Chris Broad rated “poor”.

The BCCI has seemingly ordered the curator in Bangalore, where the second Test starts tomorrow, to produce a far more batsman-friendly deck.

It comes amid speculation in Indian press that the BCCI’s chief curator Daljit Singh, who supervised proceedings in Pune, could be sacked.

India coach Anil Kumble grew increasingly terse and tetchy when the word pitch kept coming up in questions during his pre-match press conference.

“Can we move on? It’s only 22 yards, it won’t be different here,” Kumble snapped at a local reporter.

“These kind of questions were never asked in the last nine Test matches (during India’s undefeated run at home this season).

“So I don’t see a reason for me to answer the question at this point in time, because of one failure. I don’t think that’s something we need to worry about.”

Kumble, who was born and raised in Bangalore, expected M. Chinnaswamy Stadium would live up to its reputation of being a “good batting wicket”.

But the former legspinner, who claimed 619 Test wickets in a distinguished career, all but dismissed the prospect of a draw.

“I’m sure it’ll be a result wicket. That’s exactly what we want in a Test match,” he said.

“We’re here to look ahead …. (the first Test) was one of those games where things didn’t go our way.

“You just need to move on.”

Australia have been most intrigued by the pitch during their training sessions in Bangalore, where ground staff have been working feverishly to mend cracks.

The visitors made a pact not to complain about anything thrown their way during the tour. True to form, Mitch Marsh insisted he couldn’t care less about the surface rolled out.

“Whatever pitch is prepared, we just prepare to play on,” Marsh said.

“It looks like a reasonably good wicket. It’s pretty dry, there’s a few cracks already.

“We try not to read too much into the actual wicket. It’s 22 yards, both sides have to bat and bowl on it… the wicket will play as it plays and we’ll deal with that.”

-AAP

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