That is bulls**t: Ravi Shastri’s savage reply to Australians’ criticism of Nagpur pitch for 1st India vs Australia Test

Former India coach Ravi Shastri had a stern reply when asked about the claims of a ‘doctored’ pitch at Nagpur for the 1st India vs Australia Test.

While speaking on SEN’s Sportsday, co-host Kane Cornes said to Shastri that the “pretty dry” pitch amounted to “cheating” to which the latter replied with a “That is bulls**t!”

“It’s more hype than anything else surrounding this first Test match. It always happens, you get 15mm grass, 18mm grass or 12mm grass in different places around the ground … at the end of this first Test, I’m sure there’ll be someone who scores a hundred. If someone can get a hundred or 80-plus on that pitch, they’ve played well and he will go and say, ‘What’s wrong with the pitch? You stay there, you apply yourself, your shot selection is good, you get runs. But if you go out there and think you’re going to smash every ball, good luck to you,” he said as per Fox Cricket.

“If the ball is going to turn from there, so be it. So what? It’s home conditions, do what suits you, both teams have to play on the surface, there’s a match referee who is the boss, it’s as simple as that. We never complained about pitches, in my career we never complained about a simple pitch.

“No excuses, just get on with it, at the end of three days no one’s going to get killed on that surface. The quality of the camera lenses is so good, they can make green grass look brown, that’s what you expect in India, come on,” he added.

Shastri had also written about the pitch controversy in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald. “There is already a lot of talk about the surface in Nagpur. I think it’s a bit overdone. A pitch is a pitch, and it will be the same for both teams. During my time as Indian coach, we had made it a point to not bother too much about the surface, whether it had grass or mud on it,” he wrote.

“I have no qualms in a home team having pitches that will suit the ammunition they have in their arsenal, whether it’s in Australia or in India. You see the Indian team, and it’s very obvious that their major ammunition is in the spin department. So, it’s natural that they’d want the pitches to start turning early in the piece. It should happen everywhere. That’s the challenge of Test cricket. You go to New Zealand and some of those pitches are green enough to graze on and can have anywhere between 14-18 millimetres of grass. And nobody complains about them,” he added.

The Nagpur pitch has been in the eye of the storm with sharp reactions coming in from the Australian side after seeing it for the first Test between India and Australia starting from Thursday. The Jamtha stadium ground staff did some special fine-tuning in the age-old Indian way on Tuesday. The entire surface was first watered, then only the centre of the pitch got the roller treatment, and extra watering done outside the left-hander’s leg stump.

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