Sangakkara, Dhoni critical of lifeless SSC surface

After all, the batting beauty laid out for the second Test produced 1478 runs in 430 overs for the loss of just 17 wickets, translating to 86.94 runs per wicket, and an average of 151 deliveries for every scalp!

“On this kind of a wicket, you will not get a result 99.9 percent of the time,” Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhono said. “For me, a sporting wicket doesn’t mean one that seams around, but it has to have bounce. In the sub-continent, it is really difficult to make a track like that. The sub-continent is known for turning tracks. After the first day, the ball starts turning, the spinners get help and the fast bowlers get a bit of reverse swing going. But this was a placid track with nothing in it for anyone.”

His counterpart, Kumar Sangakkara, said only half in jest that he shouldn’t have declared at 642 for four. “Probably by tea yesterday, I realised that there was no way we were going to get a result, when they went beyond our score. Maybe we should have just batted on and got around 750 in the first innings, and then bowled a lot more on the last day.”

Sangakkara acknowledged that such surfaces did little to promote Test cricket. “The crowds like to see an even contest between bat and ball,” said the left-hander, man of the match for knocks of 219 and 42 not out.

“Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case during this Test. The wicket at SSC has been always flat. I remember when we played against Pakistan, we had to bat out about five sessions to save the Test and at the end, we were 424 for four. There was some bite on this wicket in the last session, but it was a foregone conclusion by then.”

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