Some shocking media reports have emerged which state that the Chennai pitch curator for the first Test between India and England in 2021 deliberately went against Head Coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun. The consequence was huge as team India faced a loss in the Test match when they were on the verge of being knocked out of the ICC World Test Championship Final 2021.
India and England played a four-match Test series last year wherein a couple of games each was hosted by the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Team India won the four-match series 3-1 and qualified for the ICC World Test Championship Final 2021. However, things didn’t go as planned for the hosts when the series began.
Chennai Pitch Curator Went Against The Wishes Of Ravi Shastri And Bharat Arun
A report published in TOI stated, “Ravi Shastri and Bharat Arun were at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk on the evening of February 4, a day before the start of the Test against England. The head coach and the bowling coach explicitly told the curator and the groundsmen that the pitch should be left the way it is, and the water and roller should not be used. Having conveyed it with absolute clarity, they left the stadium with the rest of the team, sources who were present at the venue that evening say.”
“After Shastri and Arun left the venue, the BCCI curator who was present there told the groundsmen that he had been ‘asked’ by a ‘higher authority’ to water the pitch and roll it. He did so without being questioned by the local groundsmen who have no authority on these matters except listening to instructions.”
“There are those who want the BCCI to investigate ‘who made the call that evening to the curator’. “He (curator) watered the pitch, brought out the roller, and the next morning, the wicket was a ‘paata’ (flat deck) sources added,” the reports further stated.
Ravi Shastri And Bharat Arun Lost It After India Lost The Match
As the track was prepared like a mere dead batting track, England won the toss and elected to bat first in the game. Joe Root, the England captain, smashed a scintillating double century in the first innings of the match. The Indian batters only kept chasing the score throughout the match and eventually, the hosts fell short by a massive 227 runs and found themselves in a situation to win all their next 3 matches to qualify for the WTC final 2021.
“Ravi and Arun were absolutely livid with the curator for not heeding to the team management’s instructions. It was done deliberately and that curator clearly received a call and was asked to do this. The curator must be questioned who instructed him to act against the Indian team’s best interests. It was an extremely serious misdemeanour, say those in the know of these developments,” the report further stated.
This eventually led the Indian team management to lodge an official complaint about the same to the BCCI and then, the curator was changed for the second match of the series. The BCCI moved swiftly after the complaint and a senior curator was called to the venue, and he prepared the pitch in alignment with the team management’s plans for the second Test that team India won.
Now, there are voices that suggest that there might be an official probe into the matter.