“If you want to see only 350-run matches and consider only those pitches good, then I disagree with that,” Dravid said ahead of India’s clash against New Zealand in Dharamsala. “You also have to see different skills on display. If you just want to see fours and sixes, we have T20 for that. Why do we need anything else?”
“Even at 350 wickets there is skill on display. It’s fine on that particular day. But in the first few matches when it spins a bit or something that brings the bowlers into the game, and you see the pitches as average. Let’s start giving ratings, where does it leave the bowlers? Then why are they coming? Then play two T20 matches.
“We need to have a better way to decide what is good or average.”
There are no real consequences to pitches being rated “average” or even “below average” if the next rating is lower. It is only when pitches are deemed “poor” or “unsuitable” that venues are at risk of being suspended. But the “average” rating is an indication to curators as to what types of surfaces the ICC will accept. All other surfaces for ODI World Cup matches played up to 15 October were rated “good” or “very good”.
Dravid suggested that India will have a variety of surfaces to perform on and the team should be able to face challenges wherever they go.
“I just want to see some variety,” Dravid said. “There will be some good wickets and there will be games that will be high-scoring. And there will be other games where the ball will spin, and there will be some where the ball will seam a bit. You have a long tournament, and you are playing in India. “They are in different parts of the country. There will be different wickets and different challenges. The teams which are able to face all those challenges will be successful.”
In India’s two other matches, in Pune and Delhi, Bangladesh scored 256 runs for 8 wickets while batting first and Afghanistan scored 272 runs for 8 wickets while batting first. Dravid said that ODI cricket involves different skills and players need to be able to adapt.
“We also played on good wickets in Delhi and Pune, which were 350 wickets,” Dravid said. “There are different skills involved in one-day cricket, like the skill of rotating the strike, being able to play spin well.
“Look at the quality of Ravindra Jadeja bowling, or Mitchell Santner bowling, or Adam Zampa bowling. Or watch Kane Williamson rotating the strike in the middle, and the way Virat Kohli and KL Rahul He batted against Australia. These are skills too.
“If you want a spinner to come in and bowl 10 overs for 60 runs and go away, and one ball spins or two balls spin, and you consider that average – then I disagree with that.”