New Delhi: The second day of third Test match between India and South Africa witnessed as many as 20 wickets falling on a rank turner, and many have voiced their concerns about preparing un-sporting pitchs vis-a-vis the perceived home advantage thus gained by the hosts.
India's premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has assumed the role of a strike bowler at least while playing at home turf, tried to counter the criticism by saying that "talks about the pitch are getting out of hand."
Ashwin, who picked his second five-wicket haul in the series, went onto say, "What is the problem about spin and bounce? It is good to have even spin and bounce, isn't it? It's about skills for batsmen to play and counter it."
But earlier, Glenn Maxwell, Mathew Hayden and Michael Vaughan had already criticised the Nagpur pitch. Both Maxwell and Vaughan had called it 'diabolical'.
— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) November 26, 2015
This pitch in Nagpur is nothing short of diabolical for Test Cricket ... Telling me that was prepared to last 5 days..!!!!!!!!!!
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 26, 2015
— Matthew Hayden AM (@HaydosTweets) November 26, 2015
Besides, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram had compared the pitch to a akhara (wrestling pit) and called cricket's world body International Cricket Council (ICC) to "get into preparing Test pitches" in a newspaper article.
In his Times of India column, Akram wrote: "I think the ICC should ... get into preparing Test pitches all over the world, or start deducting points that will affect a team's ranking. Till then we will keep getting these akharas (wrestling pits) like the one in Jamtha, where the ball hardly comes on to the bat."
South African great, Jacques Kallis, also shared his take on the issue.
"Ask a spinner whether he would prefer to bowl on a decent pitch with 400+ runs on the board, or on a dry turner with just 200 on the board where he has to worry about every run, and I think most will take the first option," Kallis wrote in his Hindu column.
At stumps on Day 2, visiting Proteas were 32/2 after being shot out for a meager total of 79 runs in the first innings. They now need seemingly impossible 278 more runs to win the match and level the series.