Indian pitches – Is the grass is getting greener?

Whenever our bowlers are not able to perform as per the expectations, everybody starts digging in and the blame game starts. It becomes unbearable when people start criticising the selectors and put a big question mark on the ability of comparatively new bowlers.

There is big question mark as to how our bowlers, especially pacers like Yadav, Ishant  and swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, will be trained to perform outside India? The fast pitches of England, Australia, and South Africa may not prove so easy to bowl on, especially in the absence of any prior experience on such bouncy pitches in India.

To our pleasant surprise, there is news coming from print media that Indian Agriculture and Research Institute, one of the most prestigious organization in Delhi (also referred as Pusa Institute), has already undertaken a very positive initiative of starting an ambitious project to develop fast and bouncy pitches in India. This project is expected to complete in a period of about two years.

This is too early to say anything in haste, but many believe that this might prove a big leap towards solving an age old burning issue of the Indian cricket. Although, to expect amazing results one has to give ample time to the unit involved.

According to a very senior scientist of Pusa, research in this field is on in many countries since 1940. Amazing, is not it? Due weightage is given to the scientists developing and nourishing the pitches abroad, whereas in India turf is being imported!

But there are two issues involved. First normally the turf gets dried soon and also the technical knowhow remains unexposed!  So in Pusa, the research is going on from last two years.

During the ongoing training of curators at Mohali and Mumbai, it was realised that many of them were ignorant about the exact length of grass suitable for the pitch, its depth, or the length of the leaf or different kind of soil suitable for a particular ground/region/weather. Also, many of the curators did not know how much water is to be given, or up to what extent the grass is required to be trimmed.

Now it is expected that scientists working on this vital project will help to decode such issues and also what kind of turf or soil is needed to get the impact of spin or bounce.

Anyway, this is very heartening news, and I can foresee India developing as a hub for training of fast bowlers from all over – specially from Asian  countries. The future of bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar appears bright, and this will definitely benefit  strengthening the Team India.

Somehow is it not amazing that mighty BCCI took so much time to develop fast pitches in India? This is only a question of grass after all!

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