Bangalore: Like the chicken-and-egg question, this one too is difficult to answer. Is it the attitude of Asian teams and administrators that’s responsible for deplorable pitches, or do the dire surfaces give rise to such an approach? Either way, you don't need to be Einstein to figure out why attendances for Test cricket in this part of the world are dismal.
Those governing the game and playing it – or writing about it – can go on as long as they want to about Test cricket being the ultimate challenge for a cricketer. The average punter, who pays to come through the turnstiles, wants to see proof of that. He or she doesn't want an apology of a contest where the bowlers are about as relevant as an item girl in a Bollywood movie.
Consider the last match played at what is possibly the most unfair venue in the world. Rain may have played a part in the Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, but the numbers still make for horrid reading. There were 1128 runs scored in 311.4 overs, during which just 20 wickets fell. Four centuries were made, which the neutral will forget within the week. Save for Junaid Khan’s triumph-of-the-will five-wicket haul, there was nothing to take away from the match.