It is fall in southwest India. The sun has been attacking the pitch for nearly four months without stopping. Not a single cloud passed through the sky. The lush greenery from the year’s monsoon has become a distant memory. Like the cricket pitch, the ground is cracking, crumbling, and being eroded in the fierce Indian sun. In a couple of months, the South African test team, ranked number one in the world will battle it out against the new, revitalized Indian cricket team. Fast forward 3 months, South Africa looses all of their test matches. How does the number one ranked team loose so badly, after all, they are supposed to be number one?
A “pitch” in cricket is the ground where the match is played. It is similar to a baseball field, but much larger and with a 22 yard rectangle of compacted soil and clay, where the batsman and bowler can be found.
Note: Ignore the positions in white!
So the problem I will b going over is a controversial topic in international cricket at the moment, pitch regulation. For those of you who are unfamiliar with pitches, the vary from country to country. So what does this mean?
As many of you know cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, being immensely popular in England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, and Ireland. By now you all should know that cricket is an outdoor sport and it takes no rocket scientist to figure out how different the climate is in all of these different countries. For example, England is wet, cold, and damp which produces green pitches that support Fast bowlers. The conditions allow for the fast bowlers to dominate because of the amount of swing (curve in the air) the bowlers can produce due to the damp atmospheric conditions. As a result England produces some of the best fast bowlers in the world due to favoring conditions at home. *please watch at least 2 minutes of the video below to get the idea*
James Anderson: A great example of English swing Bowling.
In contrast, India which is drier, and hotter produces more “dusty” pitches. Because of this, the ball spins more due to the loose dirt on the pitch. As a result India produces world class spinners.
Ravi Ashwin: Indian Spinner
So here is where the problem lies. As a result of the differing conditions, Indian cricket players can play spinners better than English batsmen as India is known for dishing out spinners by the boatload ( because of hot, dry conditions that favor spin). Likewise English batsmen can play fast bowlers better than Indians as England produces more fast bowlers (due to damp, cold conditions that favor fast bowlers). Teams have been using this home field advantage to completely blow opponents out of the water and “whitewash” them, meaning beating the visitors badly.
This problem has become extremely common in the last couple of years that teams Purposely create pitches that favor themselves, when another country comes to tour them.
Heres my best analogy: Imagine Nate Robinson playing one on one with Yao Ming. They play their first game at Yao Ming’s house where the hoop is 12 feet high instead of ten. As a result, Ming would dominate Nate Robinson about 100-0 because he is better suited because of his height to succeed in that environment. So the next match will be held at Nate Robinson’s house. The game is held in zero gravity, and Robinson wins 100-0 due to his smaller frame and quickness.
As one would imagine, many cricket fans around the world are tired of this trend. No matter what, home teams are dominating visiting teams no matter the skill or experience of the visitors.
Interestingly enough, I find this very similar to my varying homework assignments in school. In my AP Bio class I receive 4.7 million hours of homework a day. However, if I go about 200 feet south east to my AP English class I barely receive any homework. Just like Cricketers would expect more spin in India compared to England, I expect more homework in AP Bio compared to AP English. Just like English cricketers are naturally bad against spin in India, Humans naturally cannot handle 4 hours of homework in one class a day. Is it fair when England looses 4-0 against in India? Is it fair getting 4 hours of sleep due to AP BIO homework? Is this fair to England and English class?
In both scenario’s the main problem is being put in a position you hate multiple times. For example, English batsmen cannot play a spinner on a rank turner whenever they tour India, while students cannot handle truckloads of homework in certain classes.
Practice and adaptation is the key to solving this problem. whenever you are in a position you struggle in you learn and come back better later on. For example, Australia recently beat India IN INDIA going up 1-0 in the series. The last time Australia played in India they lost 0-4. So what changed?
Australia hired spin coaches and had some well known Indian spinners as counselors for playing in India. Before the tour of India, they had a two week training camp getting advice from the counselors, and practicing in conditions similar to India. As a result, they improved their skills and came back stronger …. even WINNING.
When it comes to an excess amount of schoolwork, students adapt and become nocturnal to finish all of their work. Many students like myself have adapted, meaning we are amazing in running off of 4 hours of sleep 🙂 We may be tired and out of it the next day, but hey, we don’t fail as badly and even sometimes do decent on tests.