Test Cricket: Do Pakistani Pitches need amendment?

The last few months have triggered a lot of attention towards the Pakistani pitches and playing conditions of Pakistan. Some have blamed the defensive attitude of the team and Cricket Board, while some made the players responsible for the defeat against Australia. 

Although the surfaces should’ve supported the home side, instead we saw something opposite. Neither team was able to completely get a hold of the conditions and capitalize. The situation of pitches was quite detrimental throughout the series, although Lahore’s pitch played considerably well. 

Playing Conditions during Series 

There was quite a lot of grumbling all around that the tracks will spin or they will be slower to favor the home team as Chairman Cricket Board stated in his interviews and talks:

 “Look, it is a three-match Test series so there is a lot of cricket left and we don’t want to play in the lap of Australia by making a fast and bouncy pitch. It is necessary when we play at home we should play according to our strength,”

Rawalpindi Test

A pretty much dead deck was curated, with no sign of grass, no pace, no bounce, and the ball even didn’t carry. Batsmen dominated on all five days and it was a disaster for the bowlers. No doubt, it was hell for the bowlers.

The test ended up in a draw.   

Karachi Test

The first two days were dominated by batsmen but as soon as Aussie bowlers started bowling, they swung the bowl so much that Pakistan could not survive and ended up at 148. But despite this, the test match ended up in a draw.

Lahore Test

The foreign consultant was hired to prepare a pitch for the third test which eventually backfired.

Considerably, a better pitch and there was something there for the bowlers. Of which, the Aussie bowlers ventured so much that they ended up winning the match and series. Leaving Pakistani fans and team in awe of what had happened. 

PCB’s Verdict

Ramiz Raja again defended the pitches by saying: 

“The first thing is when I took charge as the PCB chief, my statement made headlines on pitches when I said that pitches need to be massively redone. When I came in September, the cricket season was in progress and it took almost five to six months to prepare one pitch. Off-season you will see [the difference] as we are bringing soil from Australia. Here we are also experimenting and have prepared some soil through soil experts and we will redo 50 to 60 surfaces throughout Pakistan. We will do this when our season closes in March-April.”

Progress on Drop in Pitches:

Ramiz Raja, as we all know, was quite confident in bringing lively pitches and one of his visions was to introduce the drop-in pitches, but that plan has been put on hold. As he has understood, those tracks need suitable conditions and stadiums to be installed. Hence, he has decided to hire foreign drop-in pitches consultants and produce a feasibility report for these surfaces.

Conclusion: Pakistani Pitches need a lot of remodeling. There is a lot of work needed to be done in this department by PCB. They need to educate their curators, amend their pitches and change their mindsets. First of all, we need to assess the playing conditions of our home country and plan accordingly. This will help us win at least, at home. 

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