Off The Field

Sunil Gavaskar Hits Back at Critics of Ranchi Pitch

Written by Abhishek Patil

Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at the critics of the JSCA International Stadium Complex pitch in Ranchi, where India and England are currently contesting in the fourth Test match of the ongoing five-match series. The Ranchi pitch offered some genuine lateral movement and zip off the deck to India seamers Mohammed Siraj and Akash Deep in the first hour of the opening day of the fixture. Akash went on to pick three wickets in a seven-over ravishing new ball spell, thanks to the nature of the pitch. As the game progressed, the odd ball stayed low with some variable bounce as well. Spinners, especially, have been able to get the ball to turn much more in this Test as compared to the previous three matches, with wickets falling in quick succession more often than not. Gavaskar defended the pitch, citing examples of how India have had to play on challenging pitches overseas.

“I have seen cracks in the pitches of Perth and Brisbane. When the ball hits the crack in Perth, it goes very viciously past your head. But then nothing happens. You got to play that. You got to show your gumption and guts. But when it happens in India, oh my god, all hell breaks loose,” he said on air on JioCinema after Kuldeep Yadav was dismissed by James Anderson on Day 3 with a ball that kept low.

On Day 1, former England captain Michael Vaughan criticised the pitch in a post shared on X, formerly Twitter, after the visitors were left reeling at 112-5 at Lunch.

“The old saying. Do not judge a pitch till both teams have batted and bowled on it but let’s be honest this one looks a shocker,” Michael Vaughan posted.

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Abhishek Patil