With total 24 wickets falling in two days of the first Test between India and Australia, the rank turner at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune has come under the scanner. Questions are being raised against the three curators in charge of preparing the pitch.
The local curator and former Maharashtra pacer Pandurang Salgaoncar, BCCI’s chief curator Daljit Singh and head curator of West zone Dhiraj Prasana all of whom were present couple of days before the Test match Salgaoncar had announced that “ball will fly”, a notion which was immediately put down by Aussie skipper Steve Smith, who said that “ball will turn from Day 1”.
— Samaresh Banik (@BanikSamaresh) February 22, 2017
Salgaoncar’s comment was completely differing to what was on offer for the first two days which has given rise to speculations that whether the local curator got a free hand or there was an intervention from Daljit on Indian team’s insistence.
Salgaoncar is known to provide the flattest of decks in Pune.
Only a month back, India and England scored 350+ during ODIs. So how did the nature of the pitch changed drastically? The pitch wasn’t watered during the last few days and the blazing heat added to the cracks that are slowly opening.
A senior BCCI official questioned Daljit’s role.
“Did Daljit get any specific instructions from Indian team management to prepare a certain kind of a track? Or it was him who instructed Salgaoncar that pitch should be allowed to remain dry”.
I reckon Warnie could make the ball spin all the way back to the bowlers end on this Pune pitch. ????#AUSvIND
— Phil Staley (@Phil_Staley) February 25, 2017
The other question that is now being asked is how come Daljit is allowed to continue as he is almost getting past 80 years whereas strict guidelines have been set for administrators, selectors as well as employees.
“There are a whole lot of young curators in India. Why aren’t the younger lot of curators given more responsibility?” the official questioned.
“Dlajit is already 79. If the national selectors have to quit at the age of 60, administrator at the age of 70 then why is Daljit still continuing? And if someone feels that he doesn’t have a replacement then one should question the innumerable workshop of curators that we have had over the years,” he concluded.
Image credits: @TheAgeSports