Social media reacts to India's selective pitch watering to counter Aussie lefties

Images of Indian curators selectively rolling parts of the surface to be for the Nagpur Test have gone viral, causing a major controversy before the Test series. 
 
Nagpur Test

Early images of the pitch slated for play in the opening Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Nagpur have sparked a controversy. With clicks from Cricbuzz journalist Bharat Sundaresan's official Twitter handle bringing to light the selective watering of the 22 yards, there are heated discussions around the surface for the first Test. 

Sundaresan highlighted an interesting method deployed by the pitch curator and his team two days prior to the first ball in play, wherein they rolled only the centre of the track and the area outside the left-hander's leg-stump on both ends. 

Given that there are set to be five left-handers within the Australian top 7, it is seemingly an effort from the Indian camp to seek early advantage of the home conditions. However, this tactical nuance wasn't part of the debates when prominent voices within the Australian circuit accused the hosts of "pitch-doctoring" and playing unfairly. 

Robert Craddock, an Australia-based cricket expert, said on SEN's podcast, "It’s a multi-toned pitch. The classic saying about pitches is, ‘Oh, it’s the same for everyone." Craddock says the counter-argument of Australia preparing even more hostile tracks when India travel there wouldn't hold here because they, he claims, don't indulge in selective watering or rolling of the surfaces. 

"When the Gabba pitch too much grass was left on it, people were saying, ‘Yes, it was not a great wicket, but it was the same everyone'. But you can’t say that about this pitch, Australia has six left-handers in their top eight, so if you start multi-preparing parts of the deck that’s straight-up pitch doctoring, it’s poor."

Australian experts, fans give their views on the Nagpur Test pitch 

Former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie was a little conservative in his view about the surface but said the base idea from India's perspective remains to take "advantage" of the conditions and the surface in play. But another ex-cricketer and Aussie expert Simon O’Donnell went to the extent of asking the ICC to intervene in India's pitch preparations. 

"The ICC should step in and do something about it, if they think it’s not right," he said. "If they think the pitch is not right, there’ll be an ICC referee at the game and the ICC will be watching this game.But there’s so many when it comes to India, we have all of these discussions, and nothing seems to happen."

The world cricket reacted to the images posted by Sundaresan on Twitter, leading to more heated discussions around the surface.

Here is how cricket followers reacted: 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Either way, the debate around the fair or unfair means to create the pitch has further spiced up the series that promises to be the best advert of the longstanding India-Australia rivalry.