ICC rated Nagpur and Delhi Pitches as ‘Average’: According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave an average rating to India’s pitches in Nagpur and Delhi for the first two Test matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Prior to the series, there was a lot of controversy about the playing surfaces.
Several cricket enthusiasts and fans believed that the Indian administration was creating a surface that would benefit the home team before the first Test in Nagpur. The official rating for the pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur is “average,” as per the ICC governing body and Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, the match referee.
The hosts prevailed in both red-ball matches within three days. The pitch for the second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, where Australia battled valiantly for two days before being dismissed for 113 runs on the third day, was similarly handed an “average” rating by Pycroft. The surface should be deemed to be fair, if not ideal.
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The Australian team was very intrigued by how the Nagpur pitch was being prepared. Before the game began, prominent batters David Warner and Steve Smith were spotted paying particular attention to the pitch and pressing against it at various points to assess its hardness. Online images of “selective watering,” also circulated that made sure the regions outside of left-handers’ off stumps were left dry for spinners
The way Warner practiced made it clear that he was concerned about the surface. During the net practice, he batted right-handed, and he even considered doing so during the match.
Owing to the spin tandem of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja overpowering the Australian batsmen, both matches were decided in three days, demonstrating how well Indian spinners were able to exploit the surface.
As discussions over the pitches continue, Rohit Sharma and company enjoy a commanding 2-0 lead in the four-match Test series, retaining the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It’s important to note that the Australians haven’t won a Test series on Indian soil since the 2004–2005 edition. Moreover, the Indian squad abruptly ended Australia’s hegemony after they won consecutive series against West Indies and South Africa at the conclusion of 2022.
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