The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given its verdict on the pitch used in Indore for the third India-Australia Test. Another two-and-a-half-day finish prompted the ICC to give the pitch a poor rating.
Spinners from both teams enjoyed excessive help from the track right from Day 1 when 14 wickets fell. Out of the 31 wickets that the bowlers accounted for, 26 fell to the spinners, with four going to the pacers. Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj was run-out in the first innings.
Speaking on the pitch, ICC match referee Chris Broad observed that the pitch did not provide the ideal balance between bat and ball as it kept deteriorating. Broad said, as quoted by ICC’s official website:
“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favoring spinners from the start. The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match.”
After consulting both captains Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith, the Holkar Stadium has copped three demerit points following the submission of Broad’s report.
According to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, a venue shall cease to host any international cricket for 12 months if it collects five or more demerit points over a five-year rolling period.
India face a must-win game in Ahmedabad to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final
The action of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will move to Ahmedabad, which will stage the fourth and final Test from March 9.
A nine-wicket win ensured Australia’s first victory of the tour and a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. The visitors had a near-perfect Test in Indore as their three-pronged spin-bowling attack came to the party.
Senior off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the best of the lot, claiming 11 wickets in the game, including eight in the second innings to bowl India out for below 200 twice. Australia’s first-innings lead of 88 also played a massive part in their victory.
However, the hosts still lead the series 2-1 and the tourists will be determined to draw the upcoming Test. Should Rohit and Co. fail to win in Ahmedabad, they will need New Zealand to avoid a 2-0 loss to Sri Lanka.