Ranji Trophy final: Arun Lal calls Rajkot pitch ‘very poor’

Bengal coach Arun Lal stated that the ball kept low, it didn’t carry and there was a lot of dust; Saurashtra batsman Vishvaraj Jadeja agrees.

Arun Lal (right) was also unhappy with the fact that the pitch is dusting on the first day of a five-day match.   -  PTI

Bengal coach Arun Lal criticised the strip at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground in Khandheri at the end of day one of the Ranji Trophy final. The ball did not carry as expected and at times, it kept low troubling the batsmen.

“Very poor wicket. The board has to look into things like this. The ball is not coming up, it is not getting off properly. It is dusting on the first day. This is very poor,” said Lal.

He wasn’t too pleased with the neutral curators. “You have neutral curators. The board should look at it; send your curators 15 days before. Even the curator has not done a good job.”

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Saurashtra batsman Vishvaraj Jadeja, who scored a colourful 54, agreed that it was not a typical Khandheri wicket.

“If the last wicket wouldn’t have fallen, it would have been a good finish. We can’t say what a good first innings total can be. The wicket is playing differently and it is not easy to score runs. There is not much bounce. It might get even more difficult to score runs,” he said.

Lal is not looking at the result right now. His focus is to make the boys stick to the strategies and plans. “This is a long game. We have to play 15 sessions. We will fight till the end whatever the result is. We don’t focus on the result. We focus on what we can do best. You have to contain runs. That’s the main thing but on this pitch, a pacer is bowling with one slip but the ball is barely going there,” Lal expressed his disappointment.

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The tournament started on December 9 and Sportstar understands  there were no guidelines — for the curators — from the board initially. When the BCCI chief curator Ashish Bhowmick was contacted, he said, “I don’t know what went wrong, I am not even there in Rajkot.”

Bhowmick informed there was a workshop for the curators, but it is not certain whether it was held ahead of the season or during the initial phase of the tournament.

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