- admin | March 16, 2022 | 12:12 am
Pakistan Vs Australia: The Rawalpindi Test pitch received a below average rating as the balance between bat and ball went missing. Only 14 wickets fell through the day, and the Pakistan batters in particular enjoyed a good time out in the middle. The pitch was dead, batting was easy, but such a pitch isn’t new, and Pakistan’s surface wasn’t the worst as well. Let us look at pitches similar to the one encountered at Rawalpindi over the last decade and a half.
India Vs Sri Lanka, Ahmedabad 2009
The Ahmedabad Test in 2009 produced a one of the flattest surfaces, and almost took the two teams back to the Test match which saw Sri Lanka post more than 900 runs. 21 wickets fell across the five days and seven centuries were made. Mahela Jayawerdene made 275 as England made 760 runs to take a 334-run lead. The pitch was too good for batting and both teams went with lot of intent, but neither could force a win.
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England Vs India, Nottingham 2014
The Nottingham Test in 2014 helped India get a nice warm-up before a tough Test series, like how Pakistan have helped Australia get a site to the series. In India’s first innings on tour, they encountered a pitch which was dead. There was no bounce, swing or spin. With ease, India managed 457 runs, with Murali Vijay making a splendid 146, only to concede a 39-run lead.
England batted just as easily as Joe Root made a century. The pitch was really flat, while James Anderson went on to register his highest Test score with a solid 81. He was involved in a record partnership as well with Joe Root. Unlike the recent Pakistan Test or Ahmedabad Test, Nottingham had some thrill as India lost wickets on the final day, but not enough to force a result.
Pakistan Vs England, Abu Dhabi, 2015
Abu Dhabi 2015 produced one of the most thrilling games on a flat surface. Both teams used the flat pitch with ease to score 500+ in the first innings, but Pakistan managed to do Pakistan things in the second innings to keep the spectators engaged.
The first innings saw some brilliant double-hundreds from Alastair Cook and Shoaib Malik, but in the second innings, with Pakistan looking to force a result, they collapsed for a mere 170 odd, giving England a target of 99 in eleven overs. While the surface was flat, there was still some low bounce on the last day, and a bit of final day drama saw the Test finish in a flat draw that was elevated by some final session theatrics.
Bangladesh Vs Sri Lanka, Pallekele 2021
Before Rawalpindi, Pallekele produced one of the flattest Tests in recent times. There was absolutely nothing for the batters and only 17 wickets were taken across five days. Dimuth Karunaratne finished with a wonderful 244, but the pitch was way to flat. There was no spin on offer. The Pallekele Test is one of many encounters between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on flat pitches.
Both teams have played countless games on surfaces which are dominated by the bat in recent times, and this is just one of the many over the last five years.
Australia Vs England, Melbourne 2017
Melbourne 2017 probably had the surface in Ashes and Australian history. While the surface in Rawalpini, Pakistan was completely towards the batters, Melbourne was not favorable to either. There was no bounce to keep bowlers interested, but the pitch was also slow and didn’t allow the batters to time the ball well. Wicket’s looked non-existent, but runs were also tough to score with a run-rate of 2 maintained through the Test.
The pitch was given a poor rating. There was absolutely no deterioration across five days and the surface looked like it could be used for another fifteen days and still look the same. It was an absolute highway as 24 wickets were taken through the Test at a low run-rate. England managed a high of 491, with Alastair Cook getting a 244, and Cook looked both unthreatened and uncomfortable at the same time. The Test helped England avoid another whitewash, but it was criticized for its slowness and lack of deterioration. The surface also began to question the credibility of drop-in pitches which are used through Australia.