Indians wonder if curators went too far after day of ‘chaos’ in third Test against Australia

Even Indians are wondering if the curators in the Border Gavaskar series went too far in producing spin-friendly pitches against Australia.

Fourteen wickets fell on the first day of the third Delhi Test, with all but one, a run-out, spinning.

But the visitors were the team that came out on top after a chaotic opening day, faltering at 4-156, a 47 lead.

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After captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bat, India was rolled for 109 on a minefield where the ball turned sharply and stayed low.

Nathan Lyon ripped a fierce, low-rebounding offbreak into the stumps of Indian veteran Cheteshwar Pujara to set in motion an extraordinary collapse.

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has been pressured by local media over the state of the pitch in Indore.

The pitch is swept during the drinks break on the first day of the third test. Credit: Robert Cianflon/Getty Images
Marnus Labuschagne is bowled by Ravindra Jadeja on day one of the third Test. Credit: Getty Images

“On the first day of a friendly, the pitch performed a lot better than we expected,” said Rathour.

“But to be fair to the curators, I don’t think they have much time to prepare this wicket.

“It was quite late when the decision was made to move the game from Dharamshala to this venue so I don’t think they had enough time to really set the wicket.

“As a team we want to play on turning lanes, that’s our strength as a team.

“So it’s a challenge, you have to hit really well to get runs.”

Former Australian batter Mark Waugh described the first day as “chaos”.

“The pitch wasn’t up to testing standards, I think that’s a fair thing to say,” Waugh said in comment.

“Balls that go through the top in the first 20 minutes of a test game, that’s not enough.”

Waugh’s former teammate Matthew Hayden said the pitch shouldn’t have favored spin as much as it did.

“It wasn’t necessarily meant to be a spin bowler’s paradise, it wasn’t meant to stay low and spin a mile on day one,” Hayden said in comment.

“You’re allowed to have a four or five day test match, otherwise just call it what it is, we only play three days.”


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James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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