Dravid lambasts ICC for farcical decision on Chennai, Ahmedabad pitches
Rahul Dravid respectfully expressed his disagreement with the 'average' rating given to the pitches in Chennai and Ahmedabad, where India faced Australia and Pakistan respectively, during the ongoing 2023 ODI World Cup. The head coach of India emphasized that in ODI matches, playing surfaces should showcase a variety of skills rather than consistently producing high scores of 350 or more.
The ICC recently released ratings for pitches and outfields for matches played up until October 15. Interestingly, only the pitches used in the aforementioned two games received an 'average' rating. In both instances, spin played a significant role, resulting in India bowling out Australia and Pakistan for scores below 200. When questioned about these ratings, Dravid initially responded in Hindi before switching to English to elaborate on his perspective.
Dravid said prior to India's game against New Zealand in Dharamsala, "I will definitely respectfully disagree with the average rating given for those two wickets. I think they were good wickets. Maybe I will answer this in English because I might get myself into trouble by saying something."
Rahul Dravid elucidates his reason for disagreeing
He further added, "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. It's not about if we wanted to see only fours and sixes being hit, then we have T20 wickets as well, where, honestly, in Delhi or in Pune, we probably [played on] 350-plus wickets as well. Only those are good wickets, then 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, so that you can watch fours and sixes and one ball spins or two balls spin and you rate that as average."
The ICC employs a six-point rating system for evaluating pitches, ranging from 'Very Good' to 'Unfit'. The classification of 'Average' is the lowest rating that does not incur any demerit points for the respective venue. According to the governing body's guidelines for ODI and T20I pitches, the aim is to provide a playing surface that favors batters by facilitating good shot-making while maintaining consistent behavior throughout the match, ensuring a balanced contest for both teams.
Interestingly, in ODI cricket, a 'very good' or 'good' pitch is one that offers minimal to no turn.
ICC Pitch Rating
ODI/T20I Pitch Rating
|Unevenness||Seam Movement||Carry and/or Bounce||Turn||Demerit Points|
|Very Good||Little or no unevenness||Little or no seam movement||Good||Little or no turn||None|
|Good||Little or no unevenness||Little or no seam movement||Just lacking||Little or no turn||None|
|Below Average||More than occasional||More than occasional||Minimal||More than occasional||1 Point|
|Poor||Excessive||Excessive||Very minimal||Excessive||3 Points|
Pitch is rated 'Unfit' only if it is dangerous