India beat South Africa by 108 runs in under three days at Mohali. This was the first of the four test PayTM Freedom Series pitting the best team in the world when playing at home against the best travellers of the last decade. While a lot of discussions pre-game were around how Virat Kohli tried to bed Daljit Singh (the curator), no one knew what his demands were. Conceding 400+ in the last ODI at Mumbai and Shastri blaming the curator only added to the fire.
What we got finally was a rank turner, the kind of pitches India was famous for producing before the holier-than-thou brigade begged for justification of TV rights. It wasn’t a minefield. It was just a very difficult pitch to bat on, with the rough pouting its ugly mouth in the second session on Day 1 itself. Or was that the first? Still, this wasn’t the worst batting pitch ever that a lot of people were making it out to be. I am going to talk about the fast bowler bias in a bit, but first, go through some of these gems:
Commentators in SA-India Test say he is bowling into the rough. That is not a hard thing to do when the rough is right across the pitch.
— Kevin McCallum (@KevinMcCallum) November 7, 2015
While we are on the trending topic of intolerance,
Shastri's intolerance to Wankhede pitch led to Mohali pitch which is intolerant to South Africans. Liberals are right – too much intolerance
— The Bad Doctor (@doctoratlarge) November 7, 2015
Even Sunny seemed to have gone for a walk in the park.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 7, 2015
Now consider this: on a green swinging top in England, if a batsman fails to execute his plan of playing close to his body, who will be chastised? The pitch or the batsman? This conversation with @CricCrazyNIKS is exactly what I am talking about:
The funniest thing here is that a few regular cricket watchers are convinced that this sort of pitch favouring cannot happen these days as broadcasters have a lot of money riding on a game going the full five days. Thats farcical and dystopian at the same time. The only time a broadcaster comes close to a curator is when they need to take an interview for a pitch well prepared.
The Mohali pitch wasn’t the best pitch but it was the pitch India benefited from. India also batted better than South Africa considering that as far as batting went, it was a 2 vs. 2 contest.
About quality of cricket, WHY WOULDN’T YOU ENJOY SEEING THIS: (LOOK AT DEM 4 SHORT CATCHERS. BLISS):
— Paddle Sweep (@paddlesweep) November 7, 2015
I have a slow motion camera and all rights belong to Star and BCCI.
The real disgrace to test cricket at the moment is not the pitch curator, it’s the people blaming the pitch for the result. Learn to enjoy the game, let it grow on you. Feel it. The next test is in Bangalore after a week and that pitch is going to turn more.
Take it away Dileep and Freddie:
Of course, pitch isn’t always blamed in Asia but it never is in Aus, Eng, NZ and SA. It’s unsatisfying double-standards. #IndvSA
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) November 6, 2015
If you think this pitch is a minefield, you never watched Bangalore '87, Chennai '88 or Mumbai '04. Batsmen more reluctant to guts it out.
— Dileep Premachandran (@SpiceBoxofEarth) November 7, 2015