As the Nagpur pitch came under intense scrutiny for it turning surface, the former India skipper, Sunil Gavaskar, has strongly defended the nature of the Jamtha track, saying, it is the South African batsmens’ poor technique, and not any “demon” in the pitch, that resulted in South Africa being bundled out for a paltry 79, during the third Test.
The Proteas registered their lowest score after entering the International arena, post the apartheid era, as a record 20 wickets fell on Day 2 of the third Test, at the VCA Stadium.
“Can we not actually be absolutely upright and question the technique of the batsman of both the teams. Why are we shying away from that and blaming the pitch? It is a typical Indian pitch where the ball is going to turn. The demons are there in the batsmen’s mind, the demon is not in the surface,” Gavaskar said. “When it is spinning and turning and bouncing then I would say that yes, the pitch has got something to do with it.
Yes, it’s not a great wicket to bat on, I agree, but do not blame this wicket, for so many wickets to have fallen so far.
It’s been terrible batting by both teams,” the batting legend said.
Former players, like, Michael Vaughan, Mathew Hayden, David Lloyd, and Wasim Akram, have commented on what they believe is a “diabolical” pitch, but Gavaskar sees no truth behind the hype. “It is a pitch where there is no danger to life and limb, where there is danger to life and limb is the kind of pitch you have to watch and criticise. Nothing of that sort is happening here. It’s just been poor technique and temperament from both the teams. World class batsmen have panicked and got out,” he said.
“This discussion about the pitch is understandable to the extent that look a Test match is finishing in 2 or 3 days and robbing the spectators and broadcasters time, but at the same time if it is poor batting how can you blame the pitch?”
“I would advise them to talk about the pitches in their own country, rather than look at India as whipping boy. Because you guys sitting 10,000 miles away are going to see 5-10 deliveries and jump to conclusions. Please let me have your answers of pitches in England and other countries where matches are finishing in 2-3 days and then we will see who will be fined and who would be taken to task.”
“That is my answer to all those former cricketers who have played 5 or 10-20 Test matches and who do not know how to play on a pitch where the ball starts to do a little bit,” he added.