In an exciting moment for beach cricket purists everywhere, India has just won the first ever beach cricket Test against Australia by a resounding eight wickets.

Chances it was a fair pitch? Naan. Pic:

Long-serving batsman Sachin Tendulkar souvenired a stump and built a sand castle in the middle of the pitch in celebration, while his jubilant team-mates filled buckets and searched for crabs ahead of the presentation ceremony.

The Test was originally planned to be your standard five day affair on a grass pitch, albeit one of the dry and dusty wickets typical in India.

But on arrival at the ground five days ago, the visiting Australians encountered a strip which was clearly composed of a mixture of clay and sand from the adjacent Marina Beach, which runs for 13km along the Chennai coastline.

Players eschewed the classic beachwear of towels and sandals for much of the match, preferring traditional whites, though the Australians adopted the typical beach batting technique of swatting across the line.

This nevertheless led to their downfall, as did their failure to pick an entire team of spinners to suit the local conditions, a tactic the hosts used to great effect alongside the clever tactical ploy of appealing every single ball.

The second Test will be played in Hyderabad in the first week of March, on a pitch made of chakna, the local stew made from goat tripe, liver and kidneys.


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    • KJ says:

      04:02pm | 26/02/13

      You sound like a sore loser Ant

    • My Space says:

      06:41am | 27/02/13

      Sore loser AND poor, biased journalist!!!

      The Australian’s lost this Test Match 2-months ago.

      After being 2-0 up against Sri Lanka Australia could have bought O’Keefe into the Test Team to debut in Sydney in preparation for India and allowing the two spinners to bowl together.

      Everyone knows that Lyon is not the best spinner in the world but since the 3rd Test Sydney it appears that little has been done to improve his technique.

      The team selection was asking for trouble ..... selecting Maxwell, Smith AND Doherty for their spin bowling ..... all of whom are significantly worse than Lyon. They also selected Wade, who has shown over the last summer that he cannot keep to spin bowling.

      The Australian Team didn’t travel to India together, splitting players and coaching staff. You don’t see that happen in too many sports!!! Then they treated the two warm up games like a joke.

      Two days before the test the selectors announced the team with three of the best fast bowlers/seamers in the world and only one mediocre spinner. What kind of pitch did you expect to be prepared?? Did you think that India was going to serve up a WACA pitch so that they could lose two series in a row at home??

      The Australians weren’t complaining too much after they had scored 380 in the 1st Innings, although Clarke was lucky given not out when he was clearly caught on 39, and had India 2/12. But then Clarke refused to bowl Pattinson effectively. Even when Tendulkar fell to a ball that Lyon managed to sturn Australia seemed comfortable with India 4/196. But the game was taken away from them ..... not by the pitch but by good batting by Dhoni and Kohli. Even still India was 7/372. Australia simply couldn’t dislodge the bunnies that so obligingly gave away their wickets last summer, and the last 3-wickets cost exactly 200 runs. And it was here that the game was lost. Clarke chose to underbowl himself and Warner with 11-overs between them. Warner was allowed to bowl his leggies around the wicket ensuring that the batsman could not be given out LBW to a ball that went straight on and kept low.

      Australia collapsed in the second innings. The 241 score was inflated by the last wicket partnership of Henriques and Lyon of 66-runs, without this it could have been an innings defeat. I would like to point out that this is not the first 50-run 10th wicket Partnership that Lyon has been involved in!!! He is a tenacious No.11!!

      Even with this being the case there is one overriding piece of evidence pertaining to the condition of the pitch, Henriques (a debutant) scored two half centuries .... including 81no in the 2nd Innings. Some people found a way to bat on the pitch quite comfortably.

      But it would have been interesting had the last 3-wickets in the 1st Innings fell for only 100-runs, and India was chasing 150-runs.   

      In the final assessment India lost 2-wickets chasing 50-runs but it could have been 4-wickets. It appears that Lyon watched the Indian bowlers technique during that 10th Wicket Partnership as his bowling significantly improved since the 1st Innings. As stated before, Wade can’t keep to spinners and in the 50 run chase he dropped two catches, and this would have been three is Sehwag’s nick through to 1st Slip had been a little finer because Wade’s gloves were nowhere near the height of the ball.

      Yes. It could have been a very interesting game had the last 3-wickets in the Indian 1st Innings fell for 100-runs or even if the Australian batsmen put on 75-more runs. Who knows .... instead of whinging about the pitch we could have had a lot of biased Australian journalists telling everyone how great Clarke is as Captain .... either that or pushing Wade though the door.

    • anonymous says:

      08:41am | 27/02/13

      Ha ha , Anthony nobody wants to be somebody ....

    • Margaret Dungan says:

      04:15pm | 26/02/13

      I’m a sore loser too Ant!!! lol

    • Bah says:

      04:17pm | 26/02/13

      My thought was it was a fixed match when we picked 4 Pace bowlers.
      Might just be jaded.

    • sunny says:

      04:21pm | 26/02/13

      With Lyon’s match figures of 4 for 244 at not much under 5 an over we probably need less spinners for the next match not more of them.

    • John says:

      09:23pm | 26/02/13

      FEWER spinners, not less.

    • Anthony says:

      02:26pm | 27/02/13

      If you want to be a teacher John do a post grad course and get to work.

    • Yolanda says:

      04:37pm | 26/02/13

      WOW - Sore Loser Alert.

    • Greg says:

      04:42pm | 26/02/13

      I’m with bah. Who picked our team? The bookmakers?

    • Gary T says:

      08:18am | 27/02/13

      Actually. The decision to use only one spin bowler was largely left to the boy genius Australian captain. Poor thing, he doesn’t have Punter to see him through anymore

    • FZR560 says:

      04:45pm | 26/02/13

      With the BCCIs contempt for the game, you should expect to see beach cricket at the “gee” in the near future

    • MJB says:

      04:52pm | 26/02/13

      Sadly, typical Australian sports coverage. Gloat when we win, snivel when we lose

    • YikYak says:

      05:00pm | 26/02/13

      So angry. Would it not be similar for sub continent players who come to Perth?

      Cheer up champ. We lost. We need to now come back the same way England did.

    • Boss says:

      05:01pm | 26/02/13

      Tsk tsk Ant you should order sour grapes with your salad.  It wasn’t India’s fault we lost: blame a spineless top order, a relatively ineffective spinner and of course the ridiculous rotation policy for our woes (of course, maybe the rotation policy didn’t have anything to do with it but I still like to stick the knife into it whenever I get the chance).

    • Steve says:

      05:07pm | 26/02/13


      We let a guy that finds it hard to score test match tons to get off the chain and go nuts for 250 odd.

      It was a one in a life time innings by a decent but unexceptional test player. The issue was we could not take wickets at two ends and really had only one fast bowler operating at acceptable levels.

      Lyon was adequate.

      The pitch hardly had anything to do with the result. I can think of two deliveries that got wickets that behaved poorly. Hardly a death trap. And remember this match went to a fifth day.

      What more do you want?

      Well over 1,000 runs scored and 35 odd wickets falling with one wonderful;/lucky/gorgeous innings being the difference.


      No wonder those miscreant Indian cricket fans think Australians are arrogant.

      The op isn’t funny, makes no senses, is at odds to the facts and is pointless. And that is the good bits.

    • anonymous says:

      08:44am | 27/02/13

      I agree with you . I am an Australian , indian supporting fan.

    • AFR says:

      02:39pm | 27/02/13

      I would have thought actually picking a few more guys who could play spin might have helped (Haddin?)

    • Chilla38 says:

      05:17pm | 26/02/13

      The only thing that track was useful for is 4 Wheel Driving. It amounts to nothingless than cheating in my view.

    • Ian says:

      07:42pm | 26/02/13

      I’m fairly certain that Australia played on the same pitch as the Indians.

    • Daniel says:

      10:32pm | 26/02/13

      The host team is entitled to taylor pitches to suit their team, it’s not cheating it’s just the way it is. I always wonder whe we don’t to more of the same when we host.

    • Zhorah Baryshnakov says:

      05:22pm | 26/02/13

      I find it hilarious that Australia are being sore losers, at a time like this… Where Australian sport is being exposed for what it is. A sham.

    • Steve says:

      05:53pm | 26/02/13

      No that is not quite fair.

      Some Australian commentators like Mr Sharwood are being sore losers and howling at the moon that is true. And yes it is hilarious to watch them make idiots of themselves and confirm gross and erroneous generalisations held by biased Indian cricket fans.

      However I take umbrage with the second assertion. I believe it has been shown without a doubt that Australian sport administrators are pussies and have been taken for a ride by Labor politicians desperate for a diversion.

      But despite the “damning” report no positive tests for performance enhancing drugs have been found. No sportsperson has been stood down for anything illegal. No games have been shown to be fixed.

      The actual people playing the games may well be overpaid, pampered poseurs in the case of swimming or complete dills like Essedons players, emotionally disturbed with psychological problems like Barber or pick a sport and insult it with minor examples.

      But to call Australian sport a sham, and by association the players cheats or worse, is not fair. You have perfectly legitimate complaints to make against imbecilic thought bubbles like Mr Sharwoods who through lack of wit or plain ignorance expose a mean spirit when beaten. Don’t gild the lily and over reach though. It is not needed.

      Go to town on Mr Sharwood. He fully deserves it, just leave the many people that actually have a crack and try hard without fault alone.

    • JimmyMac says:

      07:25pm | 26/02/13

      Hilarious isn’t it.

      Absolutely, gloriously hilarious. My new favourite throwaway line is “who cares, their all on drugs or taking bribes anyway - Authorised by the Federal Australian Government.”

      Christ I can’t wait for the Barmy Army and the Lions Fans to turn up. The timing of that announcement was just too good.

      I can hear it already “EPO, EPO, EPOOOOOOO”

    • JimmyMc says:

      07:36pm | 26/02/13


      I love your optimistic comment but its been obvious to virtually every sports fan that isn’t Aussie that there are huge elements of Australian sport which are squalid.

      You can’t have a small population, gambling as insanely hard as Aussies do on an insular Aussie run sporting fishbowl full of players who by global measures make peanuts without fingers in pies.

      “It’s OK, I’ll fine you $500k but just to reiterate, you didn’t do anything wrong.” is uniquely Australian logic.

      “Oh so you’re a jockey who bet on another horse in a race in which you were contesting? It’s OK, we won’t end your career.”

      Australia is the sporting wild west and only Australians would be dumb enough to think it’s real.

    • JohnA says:

      05:24pm | 26/02/13

      No, you mob of morally inconsistent non-afficionados. Anthony is correct. The pitch was an absolute shocker. It was a disgrace on day one and a farce on day three.

      There should be an agreed international standard for international match pitches with acceptable variations based on the reasonable vagaries of local soil, root structure and climate conditions.

      If the Indians can ‘prepare” clay pitches with no grass cover to hold the soil together and get away with it because they ‘grew up on them’, then next time they’re over here let’s play them on the sort of pitches we all grew up on.

      Concrete pitches with brutal bounce, endless carry and zero turn.

      Then we’ll see who the real whingers are.

    • Steve says:

      06:00pm | 26/02/13

      “..then next time they’re over here let’s play them on the sort of pitches we all grew up on. “

      What like The Gabba, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, The WACA and The G?

      Like we always do? Are you really that silly? Did you not read what you you wrote?

      You actually make the point you are ridiculing. Please, if you know as little about the subject as you obviously do, stay silent.

      The pitch was fine. The test went to a fifth day. Gosh. They were better.

      Clarke scored a ton. The Portugese guy got 2 fifties for crying out loud. On debut!! Siddle batted for ever in the first dig for no runs. Warner who can’t play spin got 60 odd with a dodgy hand.

      How much “fairer” do you want it?

    • Tooves says:

      06:23pm | 26/02/13

      Have you watched test cricket in Australia?  That’s exactly what we do.

    • Vik says:

      07:43pm | 26/02/13

      John A, help me understand how we treat them when they come here? We are supposed to play on all sorts of pitches and not just what we have been used to. Get used to that fact! The next thing you will start complaining about is the weather was too hot and the Indians cheated by organizing matches on hot days.

      Its like going to the French Open in tennis and complaining that there was no grass. There are different courts in tennis and different pitches in Cricket.

      I agree with a comment above; the match went into day 5. How come Henriques (a debutante mind you) score a couple of half centuries?

      Stop complaining about everything else on earth and focus on performances. Great and for that sake even good players are the ones who can adapt to circumstances and that includes weather as well.

    • Paul M says:

      12:27am | 27/02/13

      Looking forward to the antarctic test teem, who plays on 3-metre deep snow. Hey! They grew up on it!

    • grow up says:

      05:30pm | 26/02/13

      Cry some more, mate

    • grow up says:

      05:30pm | 26/02/13

      Cry some more, mate

    • Tooves says:

      05:34pm | 26/02/13

      LOL. And we never have green tops and tests that end in 3 days.  Been to Hobart lately Ant?  If anyone didn’t expect this, they are fools.

    • Brett says:

      05:35pm | 26/02/13

      We needed Rafael Nadal as our batting coach

    • Testfest says:

      05:37pm | 26/02/13

      Well I thought it was a bit of a light hearted joke about the quality of the pitch. Judging by the majority of comments so far, apparently the SATIRE tag for this article needed to be in size 72 font and flashing lights…

      Australia certainly deserved to lose for failing to adjust to local conditions and pick a spinner or two.

    • Anthony Sharwood

      Anthony Sharwood says:

      06:44pm | 26/02/13

      Wot Testfest said

    • Loomer says:

      07:21pm | 26/02/13

      Maybe the article needs satire?

    • Steve says:

      06:46am | 27/02/13

      What Loomer said.

      A satire article should contain a teensy tiny bit of humour. I do like funny with my comedy.

      This to me reeks of a high school cop out that having been caught Mr Sharwood is back peddling as fast as can and trying to find cover.

    • Stephen says:

      08:20am | 27/02/13

      Satire has a target.  It is intended to bring about change through shame.  The article appears to be satirising the groundskeepers and many commenters quite rightly see that as unfair criticism.

      Perhaps you meant to say the op was merely being farcical or absurd.

    • Nasser says:

      06:16pm | 26/02/13

      So 3 players made centuries but the pitch was unplayable???

    • stephen says:

      06:28pm | 26/02/13

      Why not get angry at the local networks for not programming the Test ?
      I wanted to see something of the game - anything - and if the ICC had taken a serious approach to an international audience then India might have been more serious too.

    • Crazy Dave says:

      06:16am | 27/02/13

      There has been a disagreement between the BCCI and some of the media. I don’t fully understand it, but that’s why there is no coverage on TV, no coverage from ABC Grandstand…

    • Stormland says:

      06:28pm | 26/02/13

      Do Tennis players whinge this much about having to play on clay courts?

    • DJ says:

      06:36pm | 26/02/13

      Dhoni showed the pitch was fine as did Henriques for that matter. The bigger travesty is the BCCI lockout of phot journalists and radio braodcasters - that is what you should be writing about not his whingedjo

    • Victor McMahon says:

      06:48pm | 26/02/13

      shame we could not even win the beach game when we have one of the best and longest coastlines in the world. Let’s not be sore losers… We all are big enough….Aren’t we ANT ? Lol !!

    • Michael S says:

      07:05pm | 26/02/13

      It was a shocker of a pitch, but MS Dhoni didn’t have any trouble batting on it.

    • Archie says:

      07:45pm | 26/02/13

      Why has Clarke come out saying the pitch looked worse than it played.
      Is he playing politics, or under instructions to make this comment.
      . I am sure the fast bowlers who worked their guts out on that pitch wouldn’t agree with him.

    • Luigi says:

      08:00pm | 26/02/13

      Sorry Guys, but the Indians cheat at almost everything, sport, business and when they don’t get their way, they cry like babies, claim racism and on and on.  And I am not an Aussie.

      Look at the bS with respect to the Commonwealth games, business cheating.  Not allowing Maxwell to broadcast the cricket… blame the deadbeat BCCI trying to scam theABC out of a perverse amount of $.

    • Tejinder says:

      09:39pm | 26/02/13

      It is just one match. Aussies will learn to spin and bat, Moses and Clark showed how. Besides other pitches maybe different. This game was won easy by India and just give credit to the better team, which ever that was.

    • JP says:

      09:39pm | 26/02/13

      India are the Guinness of cricket, they don’t travel well. This is cricket cheating and the ICC should do something about it. I thoight cricket implied fairness not down right cheating.

    • SJ says:

      10:13pm | 26/02/13

      Aussies always find something or someone to blame for a sporting loss.
      This is exactly why I stopped watching cricket - I cannot stand the Aussies.

    • Meh says:

      12:02am | 27/02/13

      So Australia lost, huh ?

    • gobsmack says:

      05:53am | 27/02/13

      In an ideal world, every Test series would be played on a variety of grounds and pitches - a hard bouncy Perth wicket, a dusty one for the spinners, one for the seamers and an English type ground where the ball swings - to test both teams under the full range of conditions.

    • DFP says:

      07:02am | 27/02/13

      India Just won the world’s biggest game of beach cricket, and Ant just won the World’s biggest Sore Loser Award…..Whinger…...

    • ramases says:

      07:12am | 27/02/13

      Do we really care if we are beaten by a country that harbours ball tampering cheats and treats them like royalty, I don’t. Theses tests really don’t matter in the scheme of things at all and its only a bit of practice before the Ashes where we will unfortunately have to play another team that believes in ball tampering to win.
        Cricket has slid so far down the scale of things to get excited about that watching grass grow and paint dry beat it by miles. God even Julia Gillards speeches hold more attention than is now generated by a test between India and Australia and we all know there crap.

    • Uttkarsh says:

      09:38am | 27/02/13

      Says the team who won against Kiwis by under arm bowling!

    • Sir Viv says:

      07:27am | 27/02/13

      One thing that has cracked me up is listening to the commentary around Henriques.

      The bloke came to Australia when he was one but according to virtually all of the white-bred Aussie media he’s ‘Portuguese born.” er…25 years ago.

      It’s amazing what a non-Anglo name can do to the Aussie cricket media. I mean Andrew Symonds was never referred to as “English born” was he? Anglo sounding name means he avoided that.

      Is Tony Abbott “English born” leader of the Liberals?


    • JAmes says:

      10:18am | 27/02/13

      iv once heard him called portugese born and that was in the comments here. i dont understand your problem, its true, he was portugese born. and australian media have been attacking england players for being south african born for years whilst apart from peterson whos motives were more likely mercenary the rest, whilst being born outside of england, moved whilst children. all this nonsense about where someone is born doesnt matter, its where you feel at home thats who should play for and anyone bringing it up only seems to do when they are beaten by those players. who cares.

    • Jason Mc says:

      07:35am | 27/02/13

      The rules state that Test Cricket is supposed to p be played on a turf wicket. MCC clarification says that turf can be “bare”. 

      This was an extreme case - but recall - the only difference between the sides was really Dhoni’s innings. Take it out and it would have been very close.  Turning point for me was firt day last 5 overs. We went from 5-300 to 7-316.  Those late wickets cost us dearly.

    • Davo says:

      07:55am | 27/02/13

      I thought Aussies were the best at playing beach cricket!  And Windies second…..

    • VT says:

      09:04am | 27/02/13


      I’m guessing that you’re Italian? Most racist country on earth, where black football players have banana peels thrown at them. Taking that into account I guess your ignorant, neanderthal comments make some sense. Tell the many many Australian companies who are climbing over themselves to gain a commercial foothold in India, thus generating revenue and income for Australians, that you think they are dealing with cheats.

      Fact -The pitches in India have been the same for 50 years . England were good enough to win in India on the same pitches, so were the Aussies in 2004 and the Windies in the 80’s. Don’t forget that India has to bat on the same tracks. It’s not the pitches, it’s the fact that you don’t have either the bowlers to take wickets on them, nor the batsmen to score runs on them.

    • Stew says:

      10:23am | 27/02/13

      I wouldn’t necessarily say we didn’t have the team to win this game, nor that the pitch assured the result. The only change that seems viable to me would be that Wade needs to be dropped to go and learn how to keep to spinners.
      The difference between the teams was Dhoni. Dhoni played a brilliant innings that swung the game almost irreversibly in the direction of the Indians. It would have taken something special to come back from that, but another 75-100 runs from the Aussies in the second innings and who knows what could have been?

      Its easy to say the pace attack was ineffective, and I’m sure they would have liked reverse swing to come into play and Starc take a bunch of wickets too, but Pattinson seems to have bowled pretty brilliantly to me.

    • Rusty Nuts says:

      09:11am | 27/02/13

      Hey Ant, I thought your article was very funny, keenly ‘tongue in cheek’.  It’s sad that the automatic default position for most here is to see it as derogatory.

      By the way, (for the many humorless folk out there, the following comment is not ‘tongue in cheek’) my view the pitch was a shocker, constructed for a home team that had inside knowledge of how it would deteriorate over the test period.

    • mmg says:

      10:07am | 27/02/13

      Sour grapes?  I am pretty sure both teams played on the same pitch…

    • paul says:

      12:28pm | 27/02/13

      Its a good learning curve for our lads. india have been doctoring the pitches and making the rules of cricket for years now. It’s no surprise that they cannot even put up a challenge anywhere but at home. The BCCI is a disgrace organisation who are in control of the most corrupt cricketing nation in the world. they can’t field, have no fast bowlers and 2 decent batsmen although Dhoni is the indian equivalent of the old aussie flat track bullies. And also sucked in every time a howler goes against them. Umpires should not give one fifty/fifty decision in there favour, maybe then they will play by everyone elses rules. On the matter of picking bowlers all our spinners are below par and therefore we would have lost by more runs after an indian declaration.

    • Clomiphene 50 mg says:

      04:13pm | 28/02/13

      b39G0f Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Great.


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