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On Pitches, Tosses and Day-Night Cricket

by Brett Lee

Q)While a home team will always have the advantage of having played and known more about the pitch, besides the crowd support and the weather conditions, is there a need to review the home captain’s call on the pitch?


Brett: Cricket around the world needs pitches that provide an even contest. Currently we are seeing more and more batter friendly pitches to ensure the match runs for five days. I do believe that the Toss needs to be reviewed in order to allow an even contest between bat and ball. The home team have a number of advantages by simply playing in their home country, dismissing the Toss could be a way to level out the conditions.


Q) In your opinion, does the game become more about the pitch determining favourable outcomes as opposed to the team in itself?


Brett: One of the great aspects of the game we play is the variety of conditions we have to play in. I don't like seeing a pitch like the WACA lose it pace and bounce or the SCG lose it spinning ability. I believe the grounds should be consistent with the pitches they produce and ensure that when we play at the venues they are not a flat batsman friendly pitch but rather keep the characteristics they have had for so many years.


Q) If the practice of a captain’s call can be retained, will controlling the degree of tampering with the original pitch conditions make it more balanced?


I am not a believer in tampering with a pitch, if all stadiums and Cricket grounds around the world were to be consistent with pitches that offer an even contest we would see some outstanding cricket and the game would be better for this.


Q) How frequent have your experiences of playing in India on top turners been? How was it then?


 Brett: I have always loved playing cricket in India, the conditions are always challenging for bowlers. The bounce and carry is restricted and the climate is generally hot and humid. Its always a challenge to bowl to the skill of the Indian batsmen on this style of pitch. When batting having fielders around the bat and the ball spinning and bouncing is as challenging on a batsman's technique as you can get in the game. It's always great fun though!


Q) Considering how the top few teams in the world have varying pitches with different skill sets that can be exploited, should such series be enforced to have a mix of all locations to make the cricket played more comparative?


Brett: You would hope in each country that the pitches are not the same, In Australia we have a variety, South Africa also, however in places like UAE it will be important to find some variety in the pitches, this allows the touring teams to use all the players in the squad to participate and may assist in the workload of the players. I am a believer in day/night Test matches in a place like the UAE.