"TAKE off your whites and play with your suspenders on this wrestling pit". Bishan Singh Bedi may have been tongue-in-cheek while talking about the poor pitch at Nagpur on Thursday, but he was livid alright.
The former India spinner and captain, who played several series in which India held the home advantage, slammed all justification for the Nagpur Test favouring India. "You want me to believe this is home advantage? Pitches are not meant to turn on Day One itself.
Bishan Singh Bedi
To make a hard and bouncy track, you need some knowledge and a particular kind of soil, but here you didn't need anything, just don't prepare the wicket and that has been the case in Nagpur," Bedi told mid-day from Delhi.
Bedi said it was a pity that the farcical Nagpur Test match was played out "under the nose of the BCCI president (Shashank Manohar) and with the International Cricket Council's cricket committee chief (Anil Kumble) in the commentary box. The home team itself got out for 173 in the second innings, so what does that tell you?"
India's R Ashwin celebrates after dismissing South Africa's AB de Villiers
Ravichandran Ashwin ended up with 12 wickets and was adjudged the man of the match, but Bedi felt, "Ashwin is an intelligent bowler and he does not need such kind of surfaces to be successful — Ravindra Jadeja probably needs such wickets, but not Ashwin. You are pulling Ashwin down with such wickets". Bedi had no doubt whatsoever that the series win will not add to India's cricketing credibility. "I hope I am not making a sweeping statement here, but captain Virat Kohli will have to answer history just like Douglas Jardine had to answer history for his Bodyline tactics in 1932-33," he said.
"We are reducing the competitive edge of Test cricket. Kohli will be judged because of the behind-the -scenes people who have caused this scenario. I can't understand what's the point in having such pitches. You would have beaten this South African side anyway. It is not only commercially viable," he said.
Bedi's pet hate – the Indian Premier League – came up again: "Bad enough IPL has ruined Test cricket and now you are ruining it further with these sort of wickets".