The third Test between India and Australia was played on a ground in Indore that was assessed “bad” by the ICC, earning Holkar Stadium three demerit points.
The third day’s opening session of the Test came to a close with Australia winning by nine wickets in a match that was controlled by spinners.
According to ICC match referee Chris Broad, the ground, which was extremely dry, did not give a balance between bat and ball and favored spinners from the start.
“The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and occasionally broke the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and irregular bounce throughout the play,” according to the report.
The BCCI now has 14 days to file an appeal against the penalty. A venue that accrues five or more demerit points during a rolling five-year period will be barred from hosting any international cricket for a duration of one year.
With regard to hosting the third game of the Border-Gavaskar series, Indore received little notice. It was originally planned to happen in Dharamsala, but after it was relaid, the outfield isn’t yet up to par. On February 13, or roughly two weeks before the game’s scheduled start on March 1, the BCCI announced the venue change.
India like to host Test matches where the weather is favorable from the start. That was undoubtedly the case at Holkar Stadium, where the host team, which had won the toss and chosen to bat, fell to 84 for 7 after just one session. Rahul Dravid, the India coach, was seen assessing the ground during the lunch break while the curator accompanied him.
Yet, the skipper didn’t hold back when discussing the 22 yards. Rohit Sharma stated, “Honestly, these are the kinds of pitches we love to play on. When playing at home, always play to your strengths and don’t worry about what people outside are saying. This is our strength.
Steven Smith, the interim captain of Australia, didn’t mind the weather either. He stated, “I myself really like playing on these kinds of wickets. “This is preferable to a five-day, genuine flat wicket, which can become monotonous at times. On these wickets, something is always going on. You must put in a lot of effort to run well. The men can do it, though, as has been demonstrated. Men can succeed, but they need to work hard and have some good fortune. In this case, it’s possible that it was a little bit too extreme from the first ball. Although I’m not completely sure, it was nonetheless fun.”
However, in terms of a balance between bat and ball, only two scores of fifty or more were recorded throughout the entire Test match due to the uneven degree of turn and bounce. India’s first innings score of 109 was their sixth-lowest at home. Australia’s first innings ended with a 6 for 11 collapse. By the time the game was over on the third morning, there were a total of 16 single-digit scores, with spin accounting for all but four of the 31 wickets that were lost.
The last time a pitch in India received a bad rating was during the 2017 Pune Test, which Australia won for them on account of a similarly vindictive turner. Also, Broad was the one who imposed that penalty.
The playing surfaces in Nagpur and Delhi, the locations of the first two Test matches of this tour in 2023, were evaluated as “average” by match referee Andy Pycroft.
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