The pitch in Indore has been rated ‘poor’ by the International Cricket Council on Friday (March 3, 2023). The Holkar stadium was the venue of the Third Test Match between India and Australia.
The playing surface came under scrutiny from the morning session on the First day of the Test. The Indians lost seven wickets in the first session. They were eventually bowled out for just 109. Australia batted out close to 77 overs in their first innings. But things moved swiftly with India collapsing for 163 in their second innings. As a result, the visitors needed just 76 on the third morning win their first game of the series. The Test match had less than 200 overs.
While the Australian spin trio accounted for nine wickets in the first innings, Nathan Lyon picked up eight wickets in the second innings. With the pitch rated poor under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, the venue received three demerit points after match referee Chris Broad submitted his report.
“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start,” 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.”
If the BCCI wishes to appeal the sanction, they have two weeks time to do so, according to the ICC. Quite interestingly, both captains didn’t have any alarming concerns over the surface post the game.
Rohit Doesn’t Like Pitch – Talk
“Honestly this pitch talk is just getting too much,” Rohit had said after the game. “Everytime we play in India, there’s only the focus on the pitch. Why are people not asking me about Nathan Lyon, how well he bowled. How Pujara played in the second innings? How well Usman Khawaja played. Those are the things , if you ask me, I can give you details of. Not the pitch. We focus too much on the pitch here in India. I don’t think it’s necessary.”
Steve Smith, Australia’s stand-in captain, revealed that he relished the challenge of playing on such surfaces that ensures the game moves at a rapid pace. “Personally I really enjoyed playing on these kind of wickets,” Smith said. “I prefer this than just a genuine flat wicket that goes five days and can be boring in stages. There’s always something happening on these wickets. You’ve got to really work hard for your runs. But it’s shown that the guys can do it, you’ve got to work hard for them and you need some luck. With this one, whether it might have been a little bit too extreme, potentially from the first ball. I’m not really entirely sure, but it was still enjoyable.”
The demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period. When a venue accumulates five or more demerit points, it will be suspended from hosting any international games for a 12-month period. An accumulation of 10 demerit points will result in the venue being suspended from hosting international cricket for 24 months.
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