While debate over the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s "average" rating to new Perth Stadium pitch continues, Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has come up with a perfect solution as he suggested that a player and public vote could change the way Test pitches are rated.
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.
Soon after Madugalle's remark, many Test greats namely Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Mitchell Johnson and Michael Vaughan took to their social media handles and slammed the ICC's decision.
The world cricket governing's body has 14-day deadline from the time they received Madugalle's official report to submit the same to the Cricket Australia officials.
Traditionally, the skippers of the two sides and umpires are concerned by the match referees before submitting their post-match reports. However, Hazlewood believes that extending the same to all players as well as the public could help in judging the pitch in the best possible way.
"I think rather than one person giving the rating, maybe votes go around to the players or staff or anyone involved.You'd get a broader collective feedback from players," cricket.com.au quoted Hazlewood as saying.
"Even a public poll could get some good feedback or some bad feedback. I'm sure the first two (Test) wickets have been well received by the public as well as the players involved," he added.
Australia had pulled off a stunning 146-run win in that match to level the series at 1-1 at Perth Stadium, 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).
Opener Aaron Finch was retired hurt after a short delivery from Mohammed Shami landed awkwardly on his right index finger in the 12th over.Even the Indian tailenders seemed uncomfortable dealing with the short-pitched deliveries on the WACA pitch.
Reflecting on the same, Hazlewood described the Perth wicket as "great" and said that blows are part and parcel of the Test cricket.
"I know a couple of people got hit in the head and shoulders, but it's Test cricket,' Hazlewood said. "You're bowling 140kph, guys are going to get hit on any wicket," he said.
"I thought it was a great wicket. Guys got hundreds, guys got seventies, spin got wickets, quicks got wickets. What else do you really want from it? It was competitive cricket and it went to day five," the Australian pacer added.
While Johnson said that there was "nothing wrong" with the pitch and was satisfied to see a contest between bat and ball for a change, Tendulkar tweeted that the Perth pitch was by no means average and such tracks can help in reviving Test cricket.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra, on the other hand, was critical of Johnson's comments and backed the ICC's decision to rate the pitch as "average".
Echoing similar views as Johnson, former England Test player Michael Vaughan had too expressed his shock over the decision and described the pitch as "tremendously exciting".
The Test series is currently levelled at 1-1 after Australia bounced back to clinch a huge 146-run win over India in Perth. The two sides will now head into third Test, beginning Boxing Day (December 26) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).