English tracks defanged: Expect a WC full of runs

On June 25, 1983, when the Indian group arrived on the Lord’s for the general towards a world-beating West Indies, they stuck a glimpse of the pitch and it didn’t precisely inspire self assurance in the camp. It was once green-top and the Indian top-order knew it was once going to be tough.


What came about after that is part of Indian cricket folklore, but Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who peak scored with 38 in that ultimate as India managed 183, recollects the tough conditions that he had to negotiate on that murky morning. "Oh that was some pitch, it's another matter that I didn't bother looking at it too much and backed my instincts. If I were to start thinking how I would play Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner on that pitch, it might have been too much of a struggle for me," Srikkanth told TOI, speaking in regards to the nature of pitches that used to be on be offering in those days.

Even in the sport at Tunbridge Wells where Kapil Dev hit 175 after India have been down 17/5 towards Zimbabwe, the pitch was once tough. It was once Kapil’s brilliance that won the sport. The medium-pacers with a pink ball have been just about unplayable on a monitor that was once tough to spot from the outfield. “It was once chilly, the ball was once transferring. It appeared like we would be bowled out for 70 or 80,” Sunil Gavaskar recalled later in an interview.

But then, that was once 36 years in the past. Last Saturday, England smashed 373 towards Pakistan in Southampton (venue of India’s opener towards South Africa), and given the present batting strength of 1992 champions, one assumed the hosts would stroll away with the match. But Pakistan – with the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Asif Ali – got here desperately close to chasing it down. The 734 runs scored at the day have been a good indication of what we must be expecting all over the World Cup.

The trend, though, isn't precisely new — run deluge in ODIs in England has change into a norm for four years now. From 1971 to 2015, groups crossed 300 in the nation most effective 21 instances. But since 2015, it’s been a staggering 29 instances, with England on my own doing it 22 instances.

Those 55-over Texaco Trophy days appear lost in time, when the batsmen had to grind for each and every run in the first hour. Yes, there was once a Natwest Trophy ultimate in 2002 when both groups crossed 300, but that was once an exception. In the new standardization power by way of ICC, all that has long gone out of the window. Fans who revel in T20s, wish to see run mountains; cricket pleasure has been reduced to the selection of sixes hit. It may be common knowledge that with the rising approval for T20s, ODI as a structure is suffering to stick afloat.

"This wasn’t the case when we started playing, but now it's all about runs. People love watching tall scores and it's not easy for the bowlers," former India offspinner Harbhajan Singh stated.

While the groundsmen are producing batting beauties, the weather has played a a very powerful section in batsmen being so dominant in the first part of English summers. Following the effect of worldwide warming, English summers have change into hotter with the temperature hovering in the early 30s in June.

"I remember our match against England (on May 29) in Birmingham in the 1999 World Cup. It was 7-8 degrees, there was rain and we were shivering. The match went on for two days due to inclement weather and it was a huge struggle for batsmen," stated former India opener S Ramesh.

The indisputable fact that the balls used — white Kookaburra — have very low seams do not assist the bowlers' cause. The seam flattens out inside the first few overs. With hardly ever any moisture at the pitch, the bowlers combat to get lateral movement. And with not much put on and tear either, the spinners too find it tough. Not great information for India, who are banking a lot on their wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

"I don't agree that spinners won't get help. I have played for Surrey and I know spinners will come into play, provided they know their craft. Ravindra Jadeja can be very effective at grounds like The Oval or Rose Bowl," Harbhajan stated.

But given the amount of ODIs England have played at house in the ultimate four years, they must be in the most efficient position to make the most of the conditions.

India, though, have an ace up their sleeve -- Jasprit Bumrah. Sachin Tendulkar charges him as "the best paceman in the world" and the 25-year-old has the power to take conditions out of the equation. Bumrah doesn't desire a pitch to conjure his magic.

"Every team has good batsmen, but everybody doesn't have a Bumrah... If he doesn't break down, we have reasons to believe," Harbhajan stated.
English tracks defanged: Expect a WC full of runs English tracks defanged: Expect a WC full of runs Reviewed by Kailash on May 16, 2019 Rating: 5
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