| West Indian skipper Carl Hooper limbers up at the Sardar Patel ground in Ahmedabad Thursday. (PTI)
Ahmedabad: The surprisingly robust batting display by the West Indians apart, another talking point in the on-going one-day series has been the nature of the wickets. Flat, dead and bowlers ending up resembling lambs to the slaughter.
Two senior members from the two teams on the eve of Friday’s fourth one-dayer to be played at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium spoke on the issue, and while Rahul Dravid felt lifeless tracks are unfair on bowlers, Carl Hooper said the bowlers need to do some introspection.
“One-day cricket is getting hard on spinners, maybe on bowlers in general. These are very good batting wickets and there is nothing for bowlers as such. But that’s the way one-day cricket is being played these days,” said Dravid.
Hooper, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have too much sympathy for the ‘victims’. “Maybe bowlers from both teams need to look into it differently. I’m not sure whether Australian bowlers would end up conceding so many runs.”
Dravid thinks the bowlers being ineffective means the team will look to chase rather than setting a target. “We don’t mind chasing since batting is our strength.” But doesn’t he think the feel-safe-if-bat-second frame of mind makes the toss more important than it should be' Somewhat contradictory to what he said before, Dravid replied in the negative. “These wickets play good for 100 overs. So I don’t think the toss assumes enormous significance.”
Hooper, on the other hand, thinks a key to success on such tracks is the presence of a couple of slow bowlers. He however, isn’t entirely happy with the performance of the men at his disposal. “Mahendra Nagamootoo played all three matches, but we would like him to be more accurate.”
The West Indies skipper, however, appeared miffed over the Match Referee’s decision to award the aborted Rajkot match in India’s favour, though he didn’t say this in as many words. But what he said was good enough to convey his thoughts.
“Cricket is a funny game. It isn’t over until it is over.”