More than 15 years ago I played social competitive cricket for a club in Whangarei.
You had to drive about 20 minutes to the outskirts of the city to our "home ground".
Suffice it to say I've never played on a venue like that since.
Baked cowpats dotted randomly on the outfield suggested the ground doubled as cattle grazing compound in the days leading up to Saturday's matches.
Common sense suggested if you wanted to up the run rate then visiting teams quickly had to come to the realisation pushing singles wasn't the way to go about it.
The rubber matting on the wicket provided some bounce and carry so getting underneath the ball became an absolute skill for batsmen, albeit a poor technique.
It seems the Ockers are in the same sort of predicament in their tour of India.
Dust bowls, dirt tracks, worn-out rugs ... arrgh, for goodness sake, just get on with the game.
Why does the state of wickets has to habitually become the primary escape clause for embarrassing defeats?
The Australians' ineptness, it seems, stems from their stubbornness to not adapt during their test series in India.
It was Chennai, in the first test, and now Hyderabad has caused them untold grief.
Hey, it's always nice to be a legend in your lunchtime and backyard.
It's a no brainer that going to the subcontinent means teams devoid of decent spinners is like spectators going to McLean Park, Napier, without jackets, no matter how sunny the outlook may be in summer.
"Doctoring" is an emotive term and accusing hosts of cheating after an embarrassing defeat equates to sour grapes.
Ian Chappell and Bishen Bedi's grumblings about disgraceful pitches have no substance although they will boost ticket sales.
Subcontinent batsmen touring New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa have always struggled with seaming, bouncing and swinging wickets.
Will those countries start producing wickets that would suit subcontinent teams?
No, because therein lies the "home advantage", which is as conclusive as interpreting an lbw decision even with the help of modern technology.
If anything, the wickets in India are great because cricket lovers enjoy seeing myriad bowlers provide sub plots that require batsmen to embrace versatility if they are to survive.
They also demand selectors balance their teams with tweakers and speed merchants.
In fact, it even suggests some stock seamers will become redundant.
Batsmen familiar with bounce and swing on driveway-like wickets need to improvise to show stickability.
Patience should come to the fore rather than urges to play irrational shots to bash one's way out of trouble.
For non-subcontinent countries, the challenge is to demand groundsmen to prepare wickets that offer seaming and swinging attributes but start deteriorating three to four days later to offer spinners some purchase.
It's obvious in India, Australian batsmen are trying to assert themselves on spinners but Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay are showing the qualities of retired international Rahul Dravid, who earned the nickname of "The Wall" in frustrating bowlers with a career built on defence and patience.
If India can amass 503 in their innings then Australia's first innings of 237-9 declared begs scrutiny amid claims from the hosts of inflated egos.
In New Zealand, using excuses perennially not to play spinners because wickets don't suit shows collective stubbornness.
Even worse is taking a spinner on two Black Caps tours but making him run out the helmet and snake lollies.
In an interview with New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond in Napier last month, it became painfully apparent NZ Cricket aren't moving fast enough to appoint a spinning coach to help the stock of young talent.
Building a multi-million-dollar indoor facility in Auckland is productive but bowling in the nets is not the same as gaining experience from game time.
Whatever the spin, failure to do so means the Black Caps will remain in the doldrums of test cricket and, subsequently, every other format.