London, Top England allrounder Ben Stokes sounded an ominous warning about the quality of pitches in the current edition of the IPL, saying on Saturday that he wished the wickets don’t get worse as the tournament progresses.
The Rajasthan Royals (RR) player, who had to cut short his IPL stint due to a fractured finger and rushed back to England for surgery, tweeted, “Hope the wickets don’t get worse as the @IPL gets deeper into the tournament160/170 minimum not scraping to 130/140 cause the wickets are trash.”
Stokes was alluding to the MA Chidambaram Stadium track, which has seen a string of low-scoring matches, the latest being the contest between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Punjab Kings (PK) on Friday, which the latter won by nine wickets.
After reducing the defending champions to 131 for 6 in 20 overs, Punjab Kings scored the required runs for the loss of one wicket with their skipper KL Rahul and Chris Gayle remaining unbeaten on 60 and 43, respectively.
A total of nine IPL matches have taken place in Chennai till Friday, of which only twice has the team batting first scored more than 170.
In fact, the match between Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on April 21 saw hardly any breath-taking action with the former getting bundled out for 120 and SRH scoring the required runs in 18.4 overs. There were only two big hits in the Punjab Kings innings and both the sixes came off Shahrukh Khan’s bat.
The otherwise belligerent SRH skipper David Warner had just one six in his 37-run innings, while Jonny Bairstow had three in his unbeaten 63-run knock.
In fact, after Punjab Kings defeated Mumbai Indians on Friday, the winning team skipper, KL Rahul, said that given the slowness of the pitch, he had to alter the team’s strategy.
“That (utilising slow bowlers) was the best option on the Chidambaram pitch as I felt it was slow and it didn’t look like the ball was going to come on to the bat. So, I felt, slower the bowlers, the harder it would be for the batsmen to hit.”