BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Chennai pitch for second Test is an embarrassment

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: All we want is a good, even game of cricket but this Chennai pitch is an embarrassment! It’s like someone has just put the stumps in and said ‘off you go’ with no preparation whatsoever

  • England collapsed to 134 all out on Chennai pitch deteriorating on second day
  • The surface hasn’t been prepared for a good Test cricket contest over five days
  • It’s surprising given the excellent pitch prepared for the first Test at same venue
  • The ICC will have to act and TV umpire decisions have been just as baffling
  • Rohit Sharma was stumped by Ben Foakes and Rory Burns was hard done by 

England suffered a batting nightmare on the second day in Chennai as India took complete control of the second Test.

A pitch that started to deteriorate very early saw the ball spit and turn all over the place and England’s batsmen just couldn’t cope with it.  

Sportsmail’s David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd has his say on that, some very dubious calls by the TV umpire and Channel Four’s pundits. 

India’s bowlers dominated the second day against England on a rapidly-deteriorating wicket

It’s important you are impartial as a commentator and to us it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses. You just want a good, even game of cricket. 

But we’re not seeing that in Chennai. There’s been a lot of talk about the pitch but I can end it right there – there isn’t one! 

It should be an embarrassment to whoever has produced it and to the home board.

Ishant Sharma celebrates the wicket of England opener Rory Burns to spark the collapse 

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy pitches that turn from day one. No problem. 

But it has to have a surface. All that’s happened here is someone has put three stumps at both ends and said ‘off you go.’ 

There’s been no preparation – and it’s at the same ground where we saw an excellent pitch for the first Test. I await the ICC’s reaction with interest. It’s a lottery.

Don’t tell me it’s home advantage either. I used to be involved at the sharp end as coach. And I can tell you England have no jurisdiction over their own pitches. 

That’s because the grounds you play on are independent and they make their money by making sure the Test goes on as long as possible. If it lasts five days they are very happy.

Moeen Ali is dismissed by Axar Patel on a nightmare day for England in Chennai 

I’ll give you an example. There was an Ashes Test when I was coach when I wanted to keep Australia’s leg-spinner – a certain Shane Warne – out of the game for as long as possible. 

A near impossible task but I just wanted to give us a bit of a chance as the home side. 

But I was told in no uncertain terms by the ECB that anything I said to try to influence the groundsman would be taken down and go towards a tribunal if necessary!

What a shemozzle we had on the first day with two incorrect decisions being made by TV official Anil Chaudhary. 

The stumping of Rohit Sharma by Ben Foakes in particular was just out. No doubts. 

How could the third umpire not see that? What gets me is that he sits next to the match referee. Why could Javagal Srinath not intervene? He’s in charge…

India dominated day two in Chennai and look set to level the series at 1-1 in double-quick time 

Talking of decisions, if I were Rory Burns I would be kicking everything within reach all over Chennai. 

Ishant Sharma was coming around the wicket to the left-hander who pushed forward and the ball was seen to be clipping leg-stump by a coat of varnish. 

Mind you, I can’t have it both ways. I’ve been an advocate of changing DRS to do away with umpire’s call. 

If it’s hitting the stumps it should be out. We’d have some short Tests!

Channel 4 watch. I loved Sir Alastair Cook in the first Test and it’s great to see my mate Ebony Rainford-Brent has joined now. 

But I had a message from a doctor pal of mine who said ‘This is not the way to get kids watching on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Andrew Strauss could bore the skin off a rice pudding.’ 

Steady on Doc! Sir Andrew is a friend of mine!

Andrew Strauss has joined the Channel Four punditry team for the second Test 

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