MA Chidambaram pitch for 1998 Test doctored to rule out Shane Warne's threat against Sachin Tendulkar: Curator

File photo: Sachin Tendulkar struck 155 in the second innings to help India register a big win in 1998 © Getty Images

Chennai: Feb 27, 2013

The curator at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium, K Parthasarathy, revealed on Wednesday that the pitch for the 1998 Test match between India and Australia was prepared in a way to rule out Shane Warne’s threat  from around the wicket to Sachin Tendulkar.

The Indian batting star slammed 155 in the second innings of the Chennai Test in 1998 to help his side thrash the Australians by a huge margin in the series opener.

Parthasarathy told Indian Express, “I kept the square patches outside the leg stump, on either side of the wicket, really hard. It was difficult to get turn from that part as there would be no rough there.”

“After that game, Warne came to me and asked why he wasn’t getting the turn and others were. I told him it was because of his dodgy shoulder that was to be operated on later in the series,” he added.

Meanwhile, after the end of the first Test at the same venue on Tuesday, few players returned to the pitch to inspect what was left.

Australian opener David Warner batted on the same track for some time against Australian bowlers, wherein senior India spinner Harbhajan Singh bowled a few deliveries as well, reported The Australian.

Talking about the pitch for the opening tie, which the Indians won by eight wickets, Parthasarathy said, “I like to see a result in Test cricket, and the fact that the game went five days says to me that it’s a pretty good Test match wicket.”

“We started by making the entire pitch firm. After that we watered it selectively. The areas on either side of the stumps were kept dry, and so turned out to be loose. The line of the stumps was watered and rolled, so it stayed firm through the Test,” he added.

“If I had kept the entire pitch dry, people would have called it underprepared. But now nobody is complaining,” Parthasarathy concluded.