Coach of Bengal, Arun Lal, criticised the standard of surface offered in the finals of the Ranji Trophy for the 2019-20 season, on Monday. Lal used terms such as ‘very poor’ and ‘not good for cricket’ to describe the nature of the track at SCA Stadium in Rajkot.
After crawling through a score of 206 for the loss of five wickets on Day 1, Saurashtra resumed their laborious attempt to post a challenging total in front of Bengal with a block-fest on Day 2.
Resolute attempt to negotiate the low rising ball, even after pitching the short areas, has made it difficult for bowlers and fielders to dislodge batsmen due to not enough carry.
On the other hand, the batsmen are finding it difficult to cope with the low bounce for stroke-making.
“Very poor wicket. The board has to look into things like this. The ball is not coming up, it is not getting off properly. It is dusting on the first day. This is very poor,” Arun Lal was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
The success mantra for the Bengal bowlers has usually been on the green decks offered at Eden Gardens – helpful for seam bowlers.
However, after being wicketless in the first session, the Bengal bowlers adjusted their lengths enough to make a comeback later in the day. The Bengal coach seemed jubilant of the approach shown by the bowlers.
“Yes, I am (satisfied). This is a long game. 15 sessions have to be played, we have played three. We will fight till the end whatever the result. We don’t focus on the result. We focus on what we do best. If we keep them to under 300 in the first innings, I will be happy,” continued Lal.
Lal also stressed on the bounce and carry offered in the wicket, which might suit the hosts’ style of batting.
“We had to attack the batsman (in the third session). You have to contain runs, like I said it is a poor wicket. Medium-pacer is bowling with one slip and there is no chance of ball carrying it to slips. It would be a disgrace if the ball starts rolling through on day three,” reckoned the former Indian cricketer.
Further, Lal pleaded that the board must look into the matter but did not ‘necessarily’ believe that the pitch was made to favour Saurashtra in the finals.
“No, not necessarily (on neutral venue). You have got neutral curators. The board should look into it. Send your curator 15 days before the game. Even the curator has not done a good job,” concluded Lal.