Ravi Shastri slams pitch doctoring claims
Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri has hit back at suggestions that the pitch for the first Test against Australia has been doctored to favour the home side, calling claims of pitch-doctoring “bulls–t”.
India is famous for having home-friendly pitches in Test matches, and pictures of the surface in Nagpur ahead of the first Test resulted in fears over an unfair advantage for the home side.
However, Shastri suggested that there was nothing out of order as the two Test heavyweights prepare to do battle in the four-match series.
READ MORE: Australia set for 35-year Test selection first
READ MORE: Nine announces mammoth Olympics deal
READ MORE: LeBron becomes NBA’s greatest ever scorer
“It’s more hype than anything else surrounding this first Test match,” he told SEN.
“It always happens, you get 15mm grass, 18mm grass or 12mm grass in different places around the ground … at the end of this first Test, I’m sure there’ll be someone who scores a hundred.
“If someone can get a hundred or 80-plus on that pitch, they’ve played well and he will go and say, ‘What’s wrong with the pitch? You stay there, you apply yourself, your shot selection is good, you get runs’.
“But if you go out there and think you’re going to smash every ball, good luck to you.”
Shastri, who played is 80 Tests and 150 ODIs for India, said home ground advantages were normal all over the cricketing world.
“So what? It’s home conditions, do what suits you, both teams have to play on the surface, there’s a match referee who is the boss, it’s as simple as that.
“We never complained about pitches, in my career we never complained about a simple pitch.
“No excuses, just get on with it, at the end of three days no one’s going to get killed on that surface.
“The quality of the camera lenses is so good, they can make green grass look brown, that’s what you expect in India, come on.”
Despite all the talk surrounding the pitch in Nagpur and the grass left on it, Australian captain Pat Cummins refused to be drawn into a war of words.
“That’s part of the challenge of playing away,” he said on the eve of the first Test.
“Home teams want to win at home. In Australia, we’re lucky we’ve normally got pace and bounce. Home match advantage, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing.
“It’s another challenge and makes touring over here even harder when you know the conditions are custom-made for them.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!