Much has been said about the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) reported decision to rate the pitch in Perth where Australia drew level in the four-Test series after beating India on the fifth morning.
As per several media reports, match referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the track as ‘average’ which is the lowest possible passing marks as per the ICC guidelines.
The pitch witnessed uneven bounce with players copping blows on their bodies. Aaron Finch was at the receiving end of a nasty finger injury after being hit by a short delivery from Mohammed Shami. Another Aussie opener Marcus Harris went tumbling after being hit on the helmet by a rising delivery.
But Test greats of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Mitchell Johnson and Michael Vaughan apart from Mitchell Starc among others have expressed their disappointments at the rating.
As per the protocol, match referee speaks to both sets of captains and umpires involved before giving final shape to their match reports.
Josh Hazlewood, the Australian pacer, has an interesting suggestion saying the voice of the general public watching the contest should be added to the decision making process of assessing a pitch.
“I think rather than one person giving the rating, maybe votes go around to the players or staff or anyone involved,” Hazlewood told cricket.com.au. “You’d get a broader collective feedback from players. Even a public poll could get some good feedback or some bad feedback. I’m sure the first two (Test) wickets have been well received by the public as well as the players involved.”
As per the report, the first Test in Adelaide received the top rating of ‘very good’.
Hazlewood also disagreed with the ICC view saying the Perth offered a ‘great wicket’ and ‘competitive cricket’ pushing the contest to five days.
“I know a couple of people got hit in the head and shoulders, but it’s Test cricket. You’re bowling 140kph, guys are going to get hit on any wicket. I thought it was a great wicket. Guys got hundreds, guys got seventies, spin got wickets, quicks got wickets. What else do you really want from it? It was competitive cricket and it went to day five. As far as I’m concerned, it ticked every box,” he said.
The third Test will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which was rated ‘poor’ the last time it hosted a Test in December 2017 dishing out a drab draw.
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