New Delhi: Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has supported New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming’s views on unfavourable conditions in the on-going tri-series and asked for a “level playing field”.
Gilchrist, who didn’t find anything “sinister” on part of the BCCI in scheduling matches, agreed with Fleming that playing conditions in certain cases were uneven, making the toss more important than it should be. “I certainly agree to the point that toss has played a major role in certain matches. Fortunately for us, we have been on the winning side but it could be frustrating if important games are too reliant on toss,” Gilchrist said.
“Stephen Fleming has a relevant point when he says there must be a level playing field, because there has been unfair variance (in playing conditions) in some of the matches. Otherwise I don’t think there is too much sinister in what the Indian board has done,” the wicketkeeper-batsman added.
Fleming has been critical of the schedule in the current series where Australia and New Zealand are engaged in day encounters, which begin early in the morning. He argued morning starts meant moisture in the air made things difficult for the team batting first. He also accused organisers of drawing an itinerary that suits India.
Gilchrist said Fleming’s outburst was understandable because he had been at the receiving end twice. “Having played in the same matches, I can identify myself with Stephen. Probably it is the frustration of having been at the receiving end.”
In their second match of the series against Australia at Faridabad, New Zealand were dismissed for 97 after winning the toss. They were off to a disastrous start again in the next match in Pune, but recovered from 21 for four to reach 258. Australia won by two wickets.
“New Zealand have played remarkably well. In fact, I told Fleming that these are conditions you don’t expect in India. There has been good bounce and grass, the ball has been winging and seaming ... I don’t think that is something to complain about, these are conditions like at home,” Gilchrist said.
Australia play New Zealand in Guwahati on Sunday when play will start at 8.30 am. Gilchrist said administrators should plan the schedule with care and avoid holding matches in such places or have them as day-night fixtures.
“I don’t know. There is difficulty in scheduling. I know Cricket Australia puts a lot of work in trying to arrive at he right balance, getting the matches at the right place at right time by discussing with host national boards,” Gilchrist said. “Maybe they should not have matches at such places or have all matches day-night.”
Gilchrist did not agree that New Zealand had failed to adjust to the difficulties of touring. “New Zealand are led by a brave captain in Stephen. They take everything in the right spirit, they have the right attitude.” (PTI)