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Baroda pitch under scanner after 40 wkts in 8 sessions

Forty wickets fell on Moti Bagh turner in two and a half days and the spinners took 36 of them.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | December 1, 2013 3:00:49 am

“I don’t want to go into the details,but the pitch was bad,” said Madhya Pradesh middle-order batsman Naman Ojha,speaking to The Sunday Express after his team lost to Baroda by 246 runs inside three days in their Ranji Trophy Group B match on Saturday. Ojha has been very prolific this season and came here with a double hundred and a hundred under his belt. In this game,however,he struggled to get into the 20s.

Forty wickets fell on Moti Bagh turner in two and a half days and the spinners took 36 of them. Madhya Pradesh failed to reach three-figures in both the innings. Baroda made just 152 in their first innings and only a sparkling 104 from Yusuf Pathan saw them score 244 in the second. Little wonder that the BCCI has sought a report from its ground and pitches committee on the issue.

For a venue that has traditionally produced green-tops,it is very unusual that such a surface was prepared for a Ranji game. From Rashid Patel to Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel – Baroda have regularly produced some very good fast bowlers. But maybe this time they had no other option but to try the other trick.

Coming into this game,Baroda had just one point from three matches and at home,it was perhaps their biggest opportunity to resurrect their campaign. With Irfan Pathan injured and Munaf a little out of form,they couldn’t take the risk of producing a seamer-friendly surface and ostensibly opted for the other extreme.

Madhya Pradesh coach Mukesh Sahni was not happy with the pitch,especially with its uneven bounce,but he was not overtly critical. Sahni rather blamed his side’s “poor batting” for the debacle. Baroda coach Sanath Kumar also defended the surface. “It was a turner but never unplayable. Problem is that these days batsmen don’t have technique to play spin on a turner,” he told this paper.

Moti Bagh groundsman Vishvjeet Padhiyar concurred. “The ball was taking turn. The bounce was good. Baroda made 244 in the second innings. Madhya Pradesh batsmen didn’t show the patience,” he told Cricinfo.

But BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel,who’s also from Baroda,confirmed that he has asked the ground and pitches committee to submit a report. At the same time he,however,said that there were no demons in the pitch. The matter now rests with the BCCI’s ground and pitches committee head Daljit Singh,who is expected to send his representative to inspect the Moti Bagh strip.

Brief scores: Baroda 152 all out and 244 beat Madhya Pradesh 60 all out and 90 all out (B Bhatt 5/37,Y Pathan 3/27) by 246 runs

Points: Baroda 6 MP 0

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