Balaji bats for pacer-friendly pitches in domestic cricket

Tamil Nadu pacer Laxmipathy Balaji believes by playing on pacer-friendly wickets Indian players can match the best in the world in all conditions AFP

Mumbai: Jan 9, 2012

As Indian batsmen capitulated in the first two Tests in Australia, former pacer Laxmipathy Balaji on Monday strongly stressed the need to make pace-friendly and result-oriented pitches for domestic cricket.

Balaji said by playing on such surfaces the standard of the game will improve and such dismal results can be reversed in future.

“I definitely feel that pitches in domestic cricket should encourage all the teams to go for outright results. Each team should focus on getting 20 wickets instead of only 10,” said the 30-year-old Tamil Nadu captain ahead of his team’s Ranji Trophy semi-final against Mumbai.

The former India bowler, whose career got stumped following a stress fracture of his back after which he changed his bowling action, felt that by playing on such wickets the players can match the best in the world in all conditions.

“If everyone gets to play on good tracks, the standard will rise and we can match the best in the world (in such conditions),” he said.

“I have been telling my team to take 20 wickets of the opposition in all the games,” he said but admitted that currently the wickets encouraged teams to battle it out for the first innings result only.

“It should not be the case when one team scores 500 or 600 runs and the other team replied with 450 or 500. The tracks should be such that only 350 runs can be scored by a team. This will make the games interesting even on the last day,” he said.

However, Balaji conceded that with the amount of cricket in different formats being played now almost right through the year, preparing challenging (to batsmen) tracks on the same square will be difficult.

“Two or three different grounds can be used to play these matches,” he suggested to the authorities. (PTI)