Australia made a stunning, perhaps even unpredictable comeback in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 series and spriring it back to live by winning the third Test, in Indore, by 9 wickets, and making the scoreline 2-1 with one more Test to go.
Since Day 1 in Indore, there has been a huge clamour about the pitch, which was a raging turner at the Holkar Stadium. The ball was turning significantly – the delivery that dismissed Rohit Sharma in the 6th over of Day 1 of the Test turned more than 8 degrees! – and this ploy of having an extremely spin-friendly surface backfired on India as they were bundled out for 109 and 163, and could only set a target of 76 runs for the visitors.
The Test ended midway through the first session of the third day and only two batters recorded fifties. 27 of the 31 wickets to fall in the Test were taken by spinners.
The pitch was then rated “poor” by the ICC with Holkar Stadium handed three demerit points.
“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start,” ICC match referee Chris Broad said. “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.”
IND vs AUS: What about the Ahmedabad pitch now?
The question among the fans will now be about the pitch for the 4th Test in Ahmedabad.
India need to win this Test to qualify for the WTC final; so the Ahmedabad surface is also going to be heavily spin-friendly, but perhaps not as much as it was in Indore.
It has been reported that there has been no instruction specifically given to the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) pitch curators and a “normal”, “good Test match” pitch is being prepared in Ahmedabad.
“We haven’t received any instructions from the Indian team management and our local curators are preparing a normal track as we have always done through the season,” a state association source told PTI on Saturday.
“In fact, last Ranji game over here in January, Railways scored 500 plus (508) batting first and Gujarat, although suffered innings defeat, scored 200 plus in both innings. It won’t be too different this time,” he said. “Obviously, last few days the BCCI’s grounds and pitches committee instruct the local curator. But, certainly, from our end our endeavour is to produce a good Test match pitch.”
The Narendra Modi Stadium has hosted two Test matches so far – against England in 2021 – and both had finished within two days with India winning both.
“You have to factor in that the Day/Night Test and the one after that were the first ones held after the stadium was refurbished and you had no clue how the pitch will pan out,” he added.