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Mitchell Johnson, Aakash Chopra in war of words over 'average' Perth pitch

ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the pitch for the second Test at Perth as "average", which is the lowest pass mark provided by the world's cricket governing body when they rate the pitch and outfield of Test grounds.

Mitchell Johnson, Aakash Chopra in war of words over 'average' Perth pitch
Image Credits: ANI

Former speedster Mitchell Johnson has slammed the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to give 'average' rating to the Perth Stadium pitch, which hosted the second Test of the ongoing four-match series between India and Australia. 

On Friday, ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the pitch for the second Test at Perth as "average", which is the lowest pass mark provided by the world's cricket governing body when they rate the pitch and outfield of Test grounds.

Australia had pulled off a stunning 146-run win in that match to level the series at 1-1, but the rating by the ICC could be related to the uneven bounce that resulted in a couple of nasty blows, according to a Cricket Australia (CA).

However, it seems the decision doesn't go well with Johnson as he took to his official Twitter handle and wrote that there was "nothing wrong" with the pitch.The Australian pacer further said that it was quite intresting to see a contest between bat and ball for a change. 

"Nothing wrong with it. It was exciting to watch a contest between bat and ball for a change and not these dull flat tracks being served up constantly. I’d actually be interested in knowing what a good pitch is? Hope for another exciting test at the MCG," he tweeted. 

Subsequently, a cricket fan notified Johnson about the inconsistent bounce on the pitch, to which, the former cricketer said, "Inconsistent bounce use to happen a lot, the pitch is supposed to deteriorate. Is it any different to a pitch that spins a metre or more & stays low?"

Replying to Johnson's comment, former India opener Aakash Chopra reminded the former of Marcus Harris' wicket by Hanuma Vihari in the first innings of the match before the duo engaged in a war of words over the rating of the Perth pitch. 

It is to be recalled that Johnson bid adieu to international cricket partway through the 2015 Perth Test at the old WACA Ground. He had later revealed that it was the high-scoring draw on that flat surface which expedited his plan to retire. 

Echoing similar views as Johnson, former England Test player Michael Vaughan also expressed his shock over the decision and described the pitch as "tremendously exciting". 

"And they wonder why Test Match cricket is struggling .. Was a tremendously exciting pitch which had a bit for everyone .. Should be more like this IMO," he tweeted. 

The ICC introduced a disciplinary system at the start of the year in a bid to improve the standard of pitches around the world and can provide five ratings -- very good, good, average, below average and poor -- when rating Test venues.

Australia`s ODI skipper Aaron Finch was retired hurt after his finger was hit by a Mohammed Shami's delivery while Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine were dismissed by balls that reared sharply off a good length. 

Even the Indian tailenders seemed uncomfortable dealing with the short-pitched deliveries on the WACA pitch.

The two sides are now slated to play in the third Test, beginning Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). (Also Read: ICC rates Perth pitch as 'average')