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Thread: Will Team India cash in on 'home advantage' against England and Australia?

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    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Will Team India cash in on 'home advantage' against England and Australia?

    Post the drubbing in seaming conditions of England and bouncy pitches in Australia less than a year ago, India cricket captain MS Dhoni had made it clear that he would favour spin-friendly tracks when the two teams visit India for what is being billed as a 'revenge series'.

    The Indian cricket board, however, appears to go on a war-footing this season to improve the quality of pitches and make it "sporting" across all centres hosting domestic cricket.

    Many thus feel that there would possibly be no "home advantage", even at the country's Test venues. A senior BCCI curator told the TOI that the board was "very serious" about the makeover of the pitches.

    The board's argument was that competitive pitches at home would, in the long run, help India fare better overseas, but the flipside to it is the high possibility of losing "home advantage" of playing in spin-friendly conditions.

    "Traditionally the option of a turning track has been a sort of insurance, a back-up and it has never been the case that all the matches at home are played on turners," said WV Raman, a former India batsman and current coach of Bengal.

    "I understand the requirement for a turning track, and this has been done in the past, when a series is hanging in balance and India wanting to exploit the home advantage. "It just so happens that talk of "sporting wickets" intensifies each time India fares poorly overseas, but look back and you will see that the likes of (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Rahul) Dravid, (VVS) Laxman and (Sourav) Ganguly grew up playing on good wickets at home and that is what helped them excel overseas," Raman added.

    Former India 'keeper and selector Kiran More said it was important to strike a balance and yet not lose home advantage in Test cricket.

    "I am completely for the drive for sporting pitches in domestic cricket. It is crucial for the development of quality cricketers, but that does not mean that we don't exploit the home advantage against visiting international sides."

    The last time England toured India in 2008, India won 1-0. Anil Kumble had just retired and Harbhajan Singh was India's No. 1 spinner.

    Since then, however, the experienced Sardar has lost his place and the mantle to Ravichandran Ashwin. Eight-Test old Ashwin and left-arm Pragyan Ojha - Ashwin's senior by eight Tests - form India's top spin pairing and bamboozled West Indies and New Zealand.

    But England and Australia are better and stronger opponents. In Ashwin and Ojha, does India have the wherewithal to lay out spin friendly tracks?

    Former left-arm spinner Venkatpathy Raju, said there was every chance of the ploy backfiring. "India's frontline batsmen have not been playing domestic cricket recently and could struggle on turning tracks where the idea is to bowl straight. Visiting bowlers do that better," he told TOI.

    "Although, when we became No. 1, we predominantly played at home. But that was a different team," he added

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    Keywords:bouncy pitches ,India cricket captain, MS Dhoni , Indian cricket board, domestic cricket, BCCI curator , WV Raman,India batsman,current coach , Laxman ,Sourav Ganguly , good wickets ,selector Kiran More ,home advantage, Harbhajan Singh,spinner,Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashwin,left-arm Pragyan Ojha,left-arm spinner Venkatpathy Raju,cricket news, sports news
    Last edited by sherlyk; 10-24-2012 at 06:31 AM.

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