The pitch served for the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test between India and Australia in Indore has become the talk of the town.
Opting to bat first, the hosts lost five wickets in the first hour during the opening day’s play at the Holkar Stadium. While skipper Rohit Sharma (12) and Shubman Gill (21) managed to reach the double-digit mark, the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (1), Ravindra Jadeja (4), and Shreyas Iyer (0) fell for a single-figure score.
The surface offered a significant amount of turn as all five wickets were claimed by the Aussie spin duo of Matthew Kuhnemann and Nathan Lyon.
Despite the tourists being in a dominant position, former Australia opener Matthew Hayden wasn't too pleased with the turn of events in Indore.
“There's some calmness in the Indian camp because they are so successful in last two Test matches. But just look at the average turn here. This is why I have a problem with these conditions, because there's no way in the world that a spin bowler would come on the 6th over. No way!” Hayden said while commentating in the third Test.
“Here in Indore, the average turn is 4.8 degrees. That's a massive turn, that's the turn you expect on Day 3. You've got to give batters a chance, Ravi (Shastri). Judge your players on their performance in Test match cricket. Day 1 and Day 2 should be about batting,” he added.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri, who was also on-air at the time, had a two-word reply to Hayden's pitch criticism. “Home conditions,” said Shastri.
However, Shastri also acknowledged that these are tough conditions for the players.
“This is a little more than home conditions. It's going to be tough, there's no two ways about it. One good partnership can make a difference,” he commented.
Team India went into the Lunch break with a score of 84/7 on the board. Akshar Patel (6*) and R Ashwin (1*) were unbeaten in the middle for the home team.
Matthew Kuhnemann (3-14), Nathan Lyon (3-23) and Todd Murphy (1-12) were among the wickets for Australia.
(Hindustan Times Inputs)