A. i suspect the bcci sometimes functions in fits and starts. currently they are doing fine work with issues related to umpiring and bowling actions. but the issue of pitches tends to get left to the local bodies, even though i suspect there is an overall head of pitches. i have always maintained that good pitches produce good cricket and this is one area we need to look at very closely--if we are serious about test cricket that is. i think that just like playing one-day cricket can be a bit easier than playing test cricket, producing a one-day pitch is much easier than producing a test pitch! and whichever way you look at it, the ahmedabad wicket was a blow to test cricket.
A. You have made some good statistical observations. You have considered the last five years in test cricket to make your point. But, going by statistics again, if you consider the last five decades in test cricket, only the last decade or so has been producing more results than ever before, whetever be the reason. However, more than 75% of the matches played before the last decade were ending up in draws. Even then, people flocked the stadiums for the sheer interest in the game and to see their stars play. Test cricket was the in-thing happening and not a lot of ODIs were played. Now, with the advent of T-20 and far too many ODIs being played, spectators have a lot of choices these days. We shouldn't be too much critical of Indian pitches. Last year, India were shot out for 76 against South Africa in a test match at Ahmadabad. This time, the curator of the pitch was very much cautious and 'overcompensated' for it by producing a batting beauty. As Ravi Shastri rightly said, "Even three more days of cricket here won't yield a result (at the end of the fifth day)". There are many other factors, apart from the pitch, which come into the picture, for a result to be produced.
A. You are right Srinivas. India needs to wake up to prepare sporting wickets so that people can flock into the stadium watching Test cricket even. Dead pitches or absolutely unplayable wickets only turns away the spectators away from a Test match, which always avoidable.