Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Bengal coach Arun Lal slams final pitch, calls it a 'disgrace'
- Bengal coach Arun Lal not one bit happy with the Ranji Trophy final pitch.
Bengal’s quest for the Ranji Trophy title could have been over even before the first ball was bowled. The pitch for the final at Rajkot looked like a dry surface, with hardly anything for the pacers. With India international Cheteshwar Pujara joining Saurashtra for the big game, Bengal’s three-pronged pace attack had a lot to ponder upon after the side lost the toss.
Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha was seen collecting balls below his knees. However, Akash Deep’s three-for and Shahbaz Ahmed’s tight spells helped the visitors scalp five wickets on day one of the Ranji Trophy finals.
Bengal coach Arun Lal wasn’t too pleased with the nature of the surface for the all-important game. Lal asked the BCCI to look into the pitch before terming it as a ‘disgrace’.
"Very poor wicket. The board has to look at things like this. The ball is not coming up. The surface is dusting on the first day. You've got neutral curators, why not send them 15 days before? Imagine, a fast bowler is running in with one slip in the first session of a final, with the knowledge that it won't carry."
Bengal were patient with their tactics even as wickets were hard to come by initially. While many would associate Shahbaz's spell to the Saurasthtra batsmen as a negative strategy, Lal refuses to believe so.
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He feels Bengal executed the strategy on a surface that didn't encourage his pack of bowlers.
"It could be a disgrace if the ball starts rolling through on the third day, there's a good chance of it happening as well. This isn't the wicket you prepare for a final, involving two sides that have fought hard to finish at the top."
Meanwhile, Pujara, who was retired-hurt due to fever and throat infection yesterday, came out to bat today with the home team's total at 206/5. He is currently batting in the company of Ankit Vasavada, who is nearing a hundred.Published 10 Mar 2020, 13:54 IST