Some people seem to think there’s a bit of “yeah, well, see how you like it,” about this. That’s understandable. Gambhir’s had a couple of bad tours, so you can’t really blame him. However, he’d do well to remember that home success doesn’t negate failure away from home. It only highlights it.
However, even if ‘wanting to get your own back’ isn’t the best reason for requesting rank turners for Tests in India, we still agree with what he’s saying. The home team should always be favourites in a Test series. That’s half the point.
Test tours are meant to be hard. That way, if a touring team has any success, everyone knows they’ve done something special. India’s win in England in 2007 relied on brilliant swing bowling, not spin, and was all the more admirable for that fact. England’s win in Australia last winter was built on ‘not being utterly outplayed’ and ‘not crying in a corner’ in sharp contrast to their usual approach to away Ashes series.
Rank turners in India will generally favour the home side, but such pitches would also make anything achieved by tourists more impressive than an accident claims lawyer overlooking a technicality in favour of common sense and conventional morality.