HPCA curator was hoping for a thank you message from the Indian team

HPCA curator was hoping for a thank you message from the Indian team

"I'm hearing that everyone has liked the pitch, but no one has bothered to call me to say thank you," said HPCA curator Sunil Chauhan.

HPCA Stadium
HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala (Photo Source: BCCI)

The final Test between India and Australia at Dharamsala dished out some fascinating cricket by both the teams with India prevailing by 8 wickets in the end. It was a perfect surface for a series decider which had something for everyone. While the pacers got the ball to bounce consistently, it was helpful for the spinners too. Despite the assistance to the bowlers, the pitch didn’t trouble the batsmen that much who were ready to put in that extra yard and battle for a long period.

While the playing surface in Pune for the opening Test was underprepared, to say the least, the Bangalore pitch was also declared ‘average’ by the ICC which India won by 75 runs. The pitch for the 3rd Test was on the slower side which produced a draw after Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh batted resolutely on the final day to defy the hosts.

After all the speculation on the playing surface, the one in Dharamsala produced the most sporting wicket in the series which had assistance for everyone. Players from both the camps as well as the commentary panel praised the surface but the HPCA pitch curator Sunil Chauhan revealed that he would have been happier if he received a small thank you from the Indian team management.

“I’m hearing that everyone has liked the pitch, but no one has bothered to call me to say thank you. It’s my job to prepare a good, fair wicket and I will continue to do so, but I just felt a small ‘thank you’ would have been a kind gesture from the Indian team,” Chauhan was quoted as saying by Mid- day.

Chauhan conceded that he felt that the surface should have helped the pacers a bit more. “I thought it could have offered maybe 10 to 20 percent more seam movement. But the bounce was good and the turn was okay so I’m happy that a good, competitive Test match was played. This was our first Test at HPCA, so the pressure was on me to deliver a good, true wicket and I’m glad I could live up to expectations,” he said.

BCCI chief curator Daljit Singh who was on the firing line after below par surfaces in Pune and Bengaluru said that it was the perfect pill after the opening two Tests. He also explained the uniqueness of the soil which went into the making of Dharamsala pitch. “The soil that was used to make this pitch is from a village in Ludhiana. Even for the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali, we used to source the same mud and that’s why our track has also traditionally offered good bounce and carry. However, in the last few years, the villagers have stopped giving us their soil as it has been affecting their fields.

“So, PCA is unable to source this soil anymore. However, HPCA has smartly collected a lot of stock and stored it in a hangar at one of their grounds, so they still have stock. But from next season, they too will have to start looking at another mud source. I’ve been in Dharamsala since five days before the Test, working closely with local curator Chauhan, who has done a great job,” Daljit further added.