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World Cup 2023 IND vs NZ: I disagree, says Dravid on ICC pitch ratings

Rahul Dravid said that bowling-friendly pitches cannot be called average just because there are not many fours and sixes and they test a batter's skills

Rahul Dravid (Photo: PTI)

Rahul Dravid (Photo: PTI)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Rahul Dravid lambasted the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s rating of the two pitches involving India’s matches against Australia and Pakistan. He said that only because on those pitches it was not easy to hit sixes and fours and it demanded greater skills from the batters, they cannot be termed average. 

“I will respectfully disagree with the average rating given for those two wickets. I think they were good wickets. If you only want to see 350 games and rate only those wickets as good, then I disagree with that. I think you have to see different skills on display as well,” Dravid said in the pre-match press conference on Saturday, October 21, 2023. 

Also Read: Cricket World Cup 2023 IND vs NZ Playing 11, live match time, streaming

“It's not about if we wanted to see only 4’s and 6s being hit, then we have T20 wickets as well, where, honestly, in Delhi or Pune, probably 350-plus wickets. Only those are good wickets, so why are the bowlers here? Why have spinners at all, for that matter? If you all want spinners to come in and bowl 10 - 60 and go, you can watch fours and sixes, and one ball spins or two balls spin and you rate that as average,” the Indian coach added. 

Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson, the match referee during the India vs Australia match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, and Former Zimbabwe cricketer Andy Pycroft, the match referee during the India vs Pakistan match at Ahmedabad rated the wickets as average. 

Also Read: World Cup 2023 IND vs NZ: Hard to replace him, says Dravid on Hardik Pandya

Why did Rahul Dravid disagree with ICC's pitch rating?

Reasoning as to why he disagrees with the match referees’ rating of the wickets, Dravid said, “I think we should see all skills on display, the ability to rotate strike through the middle. See the quality of watching Jadeja bowl Santner bowl Zampa bowl or watching Kane Williamson rotate the strike through the middle, and Virat Kohli and KL Rahul the way they batted against Australia. Those are skills as well. Those also need to come out and be shown and be displayed.”

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Dravid said that rotating the strike was not difficult in Delhi (Arun Jaitley Stadium) or Pune (Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium) and that’s why they have been rated good. 

Giving an example of how it was difficult to bat in Australia, he said, “I give you an example. I mean, we were, So I don't know what the rating was for those wickets, but we played the T20 World Cup in Australia. In Perth, we played a game 138 plays 138. India plays South Africa, seaming and swinging all over the place. That's a T20 game. I don't know what rating was given to that. I hope - maybe I hope that was rated average as well.”
 
Finally suggesting that he likes challenging wickets, Dravid said, “World T20 final Pakistan plays England again 130 scored in a T20 game. I am not complaining about that. I think it is good, it is great. That wicket at Perth was good. It challenged different skills. It brought different skills out on display. And I am saying this even though we have lost those games. So that is no problem with that. Sometimes wickets will turn a bit, sometimes they will seam a bit, they will swing a bit, they will bounce a bit. All we want to see is sixes and fours being hit in 350 scores as good wickets, then I disagree.”

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India and New Zealand will play at Dharamsala on Sunday, October 22. Dharamsala’s outfield was also rated average for the England vs Bangladesh match in the World Cup. 

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First Published: Oct 21 2023 | 10:19 PM IST

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