Holdingwilley The second best way to enjoy cricket
Due to some technical problems, we are unable to cover live matches on our site and app. We are working on it and will be back soon. Please stay tuned for more.

Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy mocks the very idea of cricket



This year’s IPL final was as heartstopping a final as any. Sunrisers admirably defied dew, nonsensical boundary-dimensions and, of course, all the hype, to defend a total vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in their own backyard - a win worth bragging.

Throughout the season, ‘win toss-field first-win match’ has been the popular pattern at Chinnaswamy - in the 7 league games at this venue, the captain winning the toss chose to bowl first each time and ended up winning 4 of those games.

And on two of the three occasions that the team batting first (RCB) did win, we were made to witness superhuman Virat Kohli displays - 109 (55) vs GL and 113 (50) vs KXIP in a rain curtailed game.

In this light, David Warner’s decision to bat first on the big day calls for a lot of praise. Yes, Sunrisers do possess the best bowling attack in the tournament but even the best get pummelled when bowling at the graveyard that Chinnaswamy is.

In the league game between RCB and SRH in Bengaluru, Sunrisers conceded 227 runs bowling first, with the eventual purple cap winner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, registering figures of 4-0-55-2.

Knockout matches call for venues where both teams have a fair opportunity to win and the toss doesn't necessarily come into the picture. Bengaluru is anything but that.

Sunrisers bowled extremely well to come back in the game but the shot-selection from RCB middle order did leave a lot to be desired and thereby helped SRH’s cause. The chase, otherwise, should have been a canter.


Defending totals at Chinnaswamy has an air of inevitability about it. Losing the toss is nightmarish. Unless you have a super-combustive batting order like that of RCB which is capable of rolling out skyscrapers at will, you really can’t figure out what a winnable score is.

Grounds like Chinnaswamy mock the very idea of a contest. No boundary is 70 metres long. Worse, most match-pitches have little or nothing for seamers or spinners.

There’s no hiding the fact that limited overs cricket, and not just the IPL, is largely a bat vs bat duel these days and bowlers need some amount of assistance to survive. Any IPL bowling attack but that of Sunrisers would have wilted under the onslaught of Gayle and Kohli during the final.

Chinnaswamy pitch is generally unkind to bowlers. Now since the boundaries can only be pushed back so far, the best that can be done at the venue is that a sporting pitch could be provided as opposed to a ‘good’ deck (I don't like the idea of batting paradises being termed ‘good’!).

But that won't happen because our administrators believe that the masses love to see bowlers get trashed and that is partly true, unfortunately.

To see Virat Kohli get mad at Chahal for pitching the ball up (and getting hit for a six) is one sad sight for Test purists like myself. If you are not allowed to tempt the batter, how are you going to get him out? And a leggie is supposed to look for wickets, right?  

Grounds like these kill the craft of spin bowling. Chahal has thrived no question (having picked 21 @19) and that is a testament to his skill, but he could have flourished all the more had he had a home ground that Kings XI have or say, Sunrisers do.


Virat Kohli was, beyond doubt, Bradmanesque throughout the tournament. 973 runs at 81 in a T20 tournament is beyond ridiculous. But 597 of those came at Chinnaswamy at an average of 99.5.

David Warner, on the other hand, totalled 867 runs in this season. He played just the two innings at Chinnaswamy and scored 58 (25) and 69 (38) on those occasions.

This is not to take away anything from the Godly performances by Kohli, but to show how aiding his home ground has been to him.

Morever, it is safe to presume that 40-45% of Chris Gayle’s career sixes in Bengaluru are clear mishits and would have been pouched in the deep on any sanely-sized ground.

What does a bowler do when he gets ‘punished’ despite deceiving the batter? I remember Shane Warne voicing the same concern when he was on air during the first qualifier.

It just goes to tell you the batting featherbed/the bowler’s graveyard that the Chinnaswamy is. Mumbai’s Wankhede is not all too different except that the true bounce in place gives the bowlers something to work with.

Venues like Bengaluru make a lot of financial sense, pity they don’t make adequate cricketing sense.


Fast. Lite. Innovative. Shareable. Download our HW Cricket app!

Rate this article:

About the author

Avg. Reads:
FB Likes:

Cricket is where the soul resides. Test purist. Reading is love. Writing is pleasure. Obstinate and...

View Full Profile

Related Content