After outrage over CSK-RCB match wicket, BCCI asks IPL franchises to make sporting pitches

After outrage over CSK-RCB match wicket, BCCI asks IPL franchises to make sporting pitches

At the Chepauk, RCB were bowled out for 70 and CSK chased it in the 18th over.

CSK players
CSK players. (Photo Source: IANS)

The inaugural match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 was not the best advertisement for big-hitting cricket. It saw Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) being bowled out for a paltry 70 against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the latter also took almost 18 overs to overhaul the target. The match played at MA Chidambaram Stadium earned criticism from various quarters, including the two captains, for not acting suitably to the format.

RCB batsmen crumbled against spin after Dhoni won the toss and sent the visitors in to bat. Two veteran spinners – Harbhajan Singh (three for 20) and Imran Tahir (three for nine) – made life difficult for Virat Kohli’s men as they collapsed for the meagre score in just over 17 overs.

The only batsman to have put up some resistance was opener Parthiv Patel (29 runs off 35 balls with two boundaries) who fell as the final wicket. Kohli, who opened the innings with Parthiv, fell for just six and no other batsmen apart from the wicketkeeper-batsman could get into the two-figure mark.

Following the outrage after the Chennai game, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asked the IPL franchises to ensure that sporting wickets are laid down for the future games in the tournament. A senior BCCI official said that although the board doesn’t interfere with the nature of wickets prepared in the IPL, it should also not mean that they are grossly titled in the favour of either the batsmen or the bowlers.

“The franchises have the freedom to prepare wickets without the interference of the BCCI, but the wickets should be sporting and not heavily tilted in favour of either the batsmen or bowlers,” Business Standard cited reports quoting the official as saying.

Didn’t expect the pitch will behave the way it did, said Dhoni

Speaking after the game that CSK won by 7 wickets, Dhoni said he was surprised to see the wicket behaving the way it did. “It was too slow and it just reminded me of the 2011 Champions League wicket. After the IPL, we came back and we had a really good season, but the wicket got re-laid and all of a sudden we found it very difficult.”

He conceded that if the Chennai wicket continued to be the same in future games, it will cause problems for the home team as well. Chennai hosts its second game on March 31 when CSK lock horns with Rajasthan Royals.

“Something close to 140-150 is something you are looking at. 80, 90, 100 or 120 is really low-scoring and if you have genuine spinners in your line-up, it’s very difficult to score runs. I feel the wicket needs to be much better than how it is now,” the defending captain said.

Kohli seconded Dhoni’s thought saying the wicket was deceptive looking as it was not easy to bat on it although the surface looked good. He though also conceded that RCB should have batted better on that wicket.

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