Former Test cricketers Mitchell Johnson and Michael Vaughan have slammed the ICC for giving an ‘average’ rating to the Perth Stadium pitch, which hosted India’s second Test against Australia.
Match referee Ranjan Madugalle on Friday rated the pitch at Perth Stadium as ‘average’, the lowest pass mark provided by the ICC when they assess the pitch and outfield of Test grounds.
Australia had defeated India by 146 runs on the fifth and final day of the second Test at the Perth Stadium.
“Nothing wrong with it. It was exciting to watch a contest between bat and ball for a change and not these dull flat tracks being served up constantly. I’d actually be interested in knowing what a good pitch is? Hope for another exciting test at the MCG,” Johnson wrote on his twitter handle.
Vaughan also took to Twitter to criticise ICC’s decision.
“And they wonder why Test Match cricket is struggling .. Was a tremendously exciting pitch which had a bit for everyone .. Should be more like this IMO...”
The ICC’s rating is presumably due to the uneven bounce that became more prevalent later in the match.
However, Johnson disagreed.
“Inconsistent bounce used to happen a lot, the pitch is supposed to deteriorate. Is it any different to a pitch that spins a metre or more and stays low?,” he wrote.
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra, however, agreed with the rating.
The Perth pitch saw some sharp bounce with one Mohammed Shami delivery hitting Australian opener Aaron Finch’s right glove, forcing him to retire hurt. Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine were also dismissed in Australia’s second innings by balls that reared sharply off a good length.
However, Khawaja’s 72 after India skipper Virat Kohli’s 123 in the first innings proved there were runs on offer in the wicket.
At the start of the year, the ICC introduced a disciplinary system in a bid to improve the standard of pitches around the world and can provide six ratings — very good, good, average, below average, poor and unfit when rating Test venues.
The third Test between India and Australia will be held at the MCG, which had received a ‘poor’ rating last year and there will be a lot of focus on new MCG curator Matthew Page this week.