ICC Test pitch ratings: SCG pitch worst hit as all four venues take hit after Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21

ICC Test pitch ratings: SCG pitch worst hit as all four venues take hit after Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21

Sydney took the biggest hit, having been downgraded from "good" to "average", the lowest pass mark, only one spot above a negative result.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The pitches used during the recently-concluded Test series between India and Australia have taken a hit in their ratings with the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch being the worst hit. ICC match referee David Boon recently announced the ratings and also made sure to scold Australia’s top curators with his verdict on the matches of the four-match series.

Three matches of the series produced an outright result while the other one in Sydney ended in a thrilling draw. Australia started the series by winning the first Test in Adelaide before India bounced back by winning the second game in Melbourne. The third Test in Sydney ended in a draw before India clinched the series by winning the last Test in Brisbane.

But despite the highly competitive series, Boon criticised the pitches and has understandably left the venues privately puzzled, according to Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney took the biggest hit, having been downgraded from “good” to “average”, the lowest pass mark, only one spot above a negative result. Last season, the pitch was rated as “good” when it hosted New Zealand.

Verdict on other pitches

As far as the ratings of other venues are concerned, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Brisbane were also downgraded as they slipped from “very good” to “good”. However, all the four venues managed to avoid getting demerit points, which only begin from “below average”. Boon has a reputation of being tough with his verdicts but his latest ratings have left some of the venue operators surprised.

At the same time, SCG curator Adam Lewis stated that he was not surprised by the verdict. Agreeing with Boon’s verdict, Lewis said the venue was not at its best because of the wet weather through December in the lead-up to the Test. Rain had played spoilsport during the match too as more than three sessions were lost during the first two days.

“We had an average of three hours of sunlight leading into the Test. The conditions we were dealt with were very, very difficult,” said Lewis.

On the other hand, MCG curator Matt Page was surprised after taking the hit despite India’s stunning eight-wicket win inside four days. Boon branded the drop-in pitch as “good” – a dip on last year’s “very good” against New Zealand. Page received praise from the commentators for the pitch this season but it did not stop Boon from downgrading the pitch’s rating.