Head coach Rahul Dravid has expressed his disagreement with the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the average ratings given to the pitches used in two recent India matches. The matches in question were against Pakistan in Ahmedabad on October 14 and Australia in Chennai on October 8, both of which received ‘average’ ratings from the ICC.
Dravid’s perspective on the matter is that an ODI match should not be solely defined by the batters’ ability to hit boundaries. He believes that the focus should extend beyond pyrotechnics, emphasizing the importance of showcasing various cricketing skills.
In the Ahmedabad clash against Pakistan, India’s bowlers restricted the visitors to 191 in 42.5 overs. Similarly, in the match against Australia in Chennai, the Australian team was bowled out for 199 in 49.3 overs. According to Dravid, these performances on the pitches should not be classified as ‘average.’
Dravid argued that the definition of a good wicket should not be limited to high-scoring games with numerous boundaries. He stated that cricket enthusiasts should appreciate the diverse skills displayed in an ODI game, including the ability to rotate strike during the middle overs, the quality of spin bowling, and the strategic batting of players like Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Adam Zampa, Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul.
In his opinion, pitches should not be judged solely based on the number of fours and sixes but should consider factors like the pitch’s behavior, whether it turns, seams, swings, or bounces. Dravid’s view challenges the notion that only high-scoring games with massive boundaries can be deemed as good pitches.
In essence, Rahul Dravid advocates for a more comprehensive evaluation of pitches, one that appreciates the multitude of skills on display in ODI cricket, rather than just the fireworks of boundaries. His “respectful disagreement” with the ICC’s pitch ratings highlights the complexity and richness of the game beyond pure run-scoring.