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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL: Shastri joins debate over Jaipur pitch

IPL: Shastri joins debate over Jaipur pitch

May 02, 2011 12:30 IST

Former India batsman Ravi Shastri agreed with Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne that the Jaipur pitch was not a "90-run wicket" even though he felt Mumbai Indians skipper Sachin Tendulkar was also not off the mark in stating that "it was a two-paced, difficult track to bat on".

Mumbai Indians lost to Rajasthan Royals in their IPL match on Friday last week and Tendulkar was critical of the pitch on which his team's batting collpased.

"The first question I asked Sachin (at the post-match presentation) was if it was a tough pitch. In turn he gave me a straight answer," said Shastri, who covered the Rajasthan Royals-Mumbai Indians IPL match as a commentator in Jaipur last Friday.

Ravi ShastriTendulkar had replied to this query by stating it was a two-paced pitch, a difficult track to bat on and much different from the ones in Mumbai which have pace and bounce.

"But I have to say it still wasn't a 90-run wicket. To be fair a few pitches in Kolkata, Delhi and the one in Kochi the other day, if anything, were more ordinary," said Shastri.

"Compared to them, the pitch at Jaipur was a shining difference."

Mumbai Indians suffered only their second loss of the IPL season, going down tamely by seven wickets to the hosts.

Warne had launched a strident attack on Sunday on Tendulkar for criticising the strip which he believed led to pitch regulator Venkat Sundram flying to Jaipur the very next day and inspect the wicket-in-question.

Sundram, when contacted, didn't want to get dragged into the controversy, except stating that it wasn't the first pitch he had inspected in this IPL.

"I have been travelling to other venues as well, I did so during the World Cup too. And I am not sure if any formal protest was lodged (by the Mumbai Indians)," he said.

According to reports emerging from Mumbai Indians camp, no formal complaint was lodged and Warne might have over-reacted to Tendulkar's cricketing reply at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"I am not sure in what context Warne replied (in the press conference on Sunday). But he might have been piqued that his criticism of the Kolkata pitch wasn't taken seriously," stated Shastri.

Shastri was referring to Rajasthan Royals' drubbing at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders on April 15 which led to Warne describing the Eden Gardens pitch as "very ordinary."

Sundram chose to give a left-handed compliment to Jaipur, stating the pitch produced -- after his inspection -- in Sunday's match against Pune Warriors was a "lovely track".

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