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India could get a points penalty if Chennai pitch rated ‘Poor’

The pitch in Chennai has favoured the spinners
The pitch in Chennai has favoured the spinners
Wasiq Agha
ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
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Team India could be in for some worry even if they win the 2nd Test at Chennai. According to the ICC regulations, India will be given a points penalty if the Chepauk wicket is rated as "Poor".

The surface in Chennai has been a hot topic of discussion over the first four days of the India vs England Test. With the pitch favouring the spinners, many have slammed India for purposely preparing a wicket that plays to their strengths.

If the Chennai pitch is categorized as "Poor," ICC regulations are clear about a 3-point penalty being handed to the home side. That could turn the attempt of Virat Kohli's men to book their place in the World Test Championship Final, into a struggle.

India currently need to win the series against England 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final, which takes place in June at Lord’s. New Zealand are already in the finals.

Can the India vs England Test pitch be classified as ‘Poor’?

ICC rules related to the docking of points explain the circumstances in which a pitch can be rated ‘poor’. According to the body, a pitch is poor if it does not allow an even contest between bat and ball.

"A poor pitch is one that does not even allow an even contest between bat and ball, either by favouring batters too much, and not giving the bowlers (seam and spin) from either side sufficient opportunity to take wickets, or by favouring the bowlers too much (seam or spin), and not giving the batters from either team the opportunity to make runs."

However, the rules also state that a pitch is poor if it assists the spinners right from the start of the match. That was evident on the Chepauk surface, with spinners from both sides getting the ball to grip and turn. But how much of that is down to the quality of the pitch remains unclear.

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A post-match analysis of the pitch and the subsequent ruling of the surface will depend on how the match referee judges the conditions. Former Indian cricketer Javagal Srinath is the match referee for the India vs England Test series.

If India win the 2nd Test against England, they will have a total of 460 points. But a 3 point penalty will mean a total of 457.

Published 16 Feb 2021, 11:08 IST
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