Kevin Pietersen is right to criticise the pitch in Chittagong, absolutely lifeless, flat as a pancake and nothing in it for the spinners either, is that really getting anyone anywhere?
Its no good for Bangladesh to be batting on roads like that, it does little to test a variety of skills, and England (especially the seamers) won't have enjoyed pounding in over after over for little reward. Ok, Graeme Swann took 10 wickets for which he is rightly praised, but he still conceded 220 odd runs and he was collared for a few big hits along the way.
There may be some peculiarities in the soil that I know nothing about, so I don't want to criticise the groundsmen too much. They don't have the experience of English or Australian groundsmen of preparing pitches, that will surely come in time, but with the glitz and glamour of the IPL taking place just next door the Bangladesh-England sluggathon was no advert for the 5 day game.
What we needed (and were never likely to get with two mismatched teams) was a thrill-a-minute test with a tight finish to show the rest of the world that anything the IPL can do, test cricket can do better. However, while Jacques Kallis, MS Dhoni and Tendulkar were setting the world alight with some truly spectacular hitting, Junaid Siddique was grinding out a painstaking hundred in a completely lost cause.
The players are not to be criticised here, and since I've already ruled out criticising the groundsmen too much, I'm not sure what I'm whingeing about. I am just frustrated that at the very time we needed to maintain the level of excitement about test cricket created by the series in South Africa, we got the worst advert possible.
A hint of green in the surface in Dhaka, however unlikely, would allow the Bangladeshi batsmen to test their technique and prepare them for the return series in England later in the year. And more to the point, it might create something approaching a spectacle - you never know!
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