A good pitch in Galle in Sri Lanka

Posted by
< 1 minute read

We haven’t seen today’s play in the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia, but having seen yesterday’s we’re opting to be quietly impressed rather than blown away by Nathan Lyon’s debut, despite the fact that he took 5-34 in Sri Lanka’s first innings. Why? Because he is bowling on a good pitch.

There has been a spate of good pitches recently – a few in England and a handful in the West Indies. It’s good to now see one in Sri Lanka, where pitches can sometimes be as threatening as a massage.

Test cricket is all the better for this development, because games are progressing. You actually have to keep checking the score. For example, Australia have lost a wicket while we’ve been typing. Just as importantly, better batsmen thrive while mediocre ones depart as rapidly as a guilty rocket.

When Mohammad Sami can Anil Kumble for six, Test cricket loses a little of its lustre. Let’s have no more of that crap.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. gotta draw the line somewhere KC…there’s a case of too much of a good thing. I used to think sunshine and beaches were good, until a combination of the 2 provided conditions conducive to the formation of the aforementioned player

  1. It’s a dramatic turnaround in Aussie test fortunes that will shock the world. Consider:

    Australia had a FIRST INNINGS LEAD!
    An Aussie spinner took five-for (they’ll drop him now)!

    But back to your point – a Day 2 pitch that yields 16 wickets for 220 runs, after a first day of 10 for 283, is NOT a good pitch. This is the bowling equivalent of the old Sri Lankan featherbeds that allowed two wickets to fall in the first two days of a test.

    I take your point that the latter Colombo pitch would have been referred to as “good” by cricket types. But they being wrong doesn’t mean you have to take the precise opposite view. A “good” pitch allows wickets to fall when the bowling is good, and runs to be scored when the batting is good. I think we had four “good” pitches against India this summer, because the team that batted best scored plenty of runs, and the team that bowled best took plenty of wickets.

    1. 10 for 283 is fine by us. We’d also hazard that batsmen of other eras might have scored more runs for fewer wickets today.

      Modern batsmen are spoilt. More pitches like this one and they’ll get the hang of it though.

    2. I agree that there isn’t anything wrong with 10 for 283 by itself, but in this context it suggests a pitch that was barely hanging on and has now given up. The trouble with pitches like these (exactly as with the good batting wickets) is that they don’t tell you whether or not anyone has played well. Did Sri Lanka bowl well on Day 1?Who knows? Did Australia bowl well on Day 2? Again, who knows?

    3. It suggests that sort of pitch, but Phil Hughes’ batting – to take one example – suggests something else.

      Maybe this pitch does favour the bowlers too much, but there’s nowt wrong with having a broad range either. We wouldn’t want all pitches to be like this any more than we’d want them all to be flatties or green seamers. Variety’s a big part of it and we’re happy with the odd match like this.

    4. Having watched it, bar one or two players, there was less than zero fight in the Lankans and whilst Lyon bowled well, he was assisted by this. Also then in the Aussies a couple of very strange shots being played (i.e. Watsons slash first ball of the innings to be caught in the gully).

      In my view Clarke and Hussey have showed that its possible to bat on this pitch. Sadly most of it has not been up to it.

      Watson bowled very well to be fair to him. Getting it into high 80’s.

  2. Lyon’s 5-for did seem to be mainly lower-order wickets though, so the jury’s still out on him. Most probably, the jury will sentence being dropped from the team, becoming a mediocre bowler and then trying to become an all-rounder and therefore becoming mediocre at just about everything.

    Still, it is a good pitch, which is nice to see. Hopefully a plethora of Cook-Trott partnerships in the coming years shall persuade other teams to create similarly good pitches.

  3. Watson bowled well, even beautifully, Copeland and Lyon did very well for debutants. It was just a relief as an Aussie fan to see bowlers bowling decent lines and lengths.

  4. Perhaps you Aussies should stop whining like little girls and just get on with the game. Yes, you guyz are ahead in the game, but I’ve had it with English & Aussie players coming to Sri Lanka/India and complaining about slow & low pitches…do we EVER complain when you guyz prepare pitches where the ball whizzes past our nose?

    When we suffer a “bad” pitch in Australia/England, our batsmen just say “We failed to adjust to the conditions”.

    When you guyz suffer from a “bad” pitch in Sri Lanka/India, your batsmen start whining and crying, saying that it’s “dusty”, “not fit for test cricket” and all such rubbish.

    At least the match is providing good entertainment!

    1. To be fair to the author, I believe his use of good is a bit sarcastic (click through to the previous post linked in the words “good pitch”).
      KC, an Aussie through and through, did say he believe there should be “the widest variety of pitches, but for the minute, the flat ones rule. So, until that changes, ‘good’ is bad.”

      Or have I missed summat in all the other comments. I couldn’t be bother to read them

  5. Live test cricket on British Eurosport 2 – where did that come from? I was blisslessly unaware until this posting alerted me to the fact that people in England must somehow be watching this match.

    So thank you, KC.

    Of course, I’m not watching live feed right now because it is raining in Galle. Spit.

    So is Nathan Lyon the next Swann or the next Krejza? His stats so far infer Krejza, but it is too soon to tell.


    He does mighty fine curled lip though, which is an encouraging sign for all concerned.

  6. Thinking about it, a match that ends inside three days is robbing me of two days of cricket. That’s unfair.

  7. If we live in a post-univeralism era. This can explain why your “good” pitch is the same one match referee Chris Broad http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-australia-2011/content/current/story/531060.html>reported as “poor”, launching an ICC investigation and possible fine. We can abandon such anachronistic words as “good” and “bad”, but what is the replacement? I think you and Chris Broad should form a committee (Stuart can sit in the corner but is not allowed to talk) to tackle this problem, not just for Test cricket, but for the fate of the world.

Comments are closed.