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News

Indore pitch rated poor after third India vs Australia Test

Match referee Chris Broad noted how the fifth ball of the match threw up a puff of dust and kept deteriorating further

The pitch at Indore used for third Test between India and Australia has been rated "poor" by the ICC with Holkar Stadium handed three demerit points.
The Test ended midway through the first session of the third day with Australia winning by nine wickets in a game dominated by the spinners.
"The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start," ICC match referee Chris 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."
BCCI now have 14 days if they wish to appeal against the sanction. A venue will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months if it accumulates five or more demerit points over a five-year rolling period.
Indore was given short notice about hosting the third match of the Border-Gavaskar series. Originally it was supposed to take place in Dharamsala, but the outfield is not yet up to par after it was relaid. The BCCI announced the shifting of the venue on February 13, about two weeks before the scheduled start of the game on March 1.
India prefer playing their home Tests in conditions that take turn right from day one. That certainly was the case at Holkar stadium when the home team having won the toss and opting to bat slipped to 84 for 7 in just the first session. At the lunch interval, India coach Rahul Dravid was seen inspecting the pitch with the curator in tow.
The captain, though, though minced no words when talking about the 22 yards. "Honestly speaking, these are the kind of pitches we want to play on," Rohit Sharma said. "This is our strength, so when you're playing at your home, you always play to your strength, not worry about what people outside are talking about."
Australia's stand-in captain Steven Smith didn't mind the conditions either. "I personally really enjoy playing on these kind of wickets," he 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 showed that the guys can do it. 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 another enjoyable."
But in terms of a balance between bat and ball, the uneven degree of both turn and bounce led to only two scores of fifty or more in the entire Test match. India's total of 109 was their sixth-lowest in a first innings at home. Australia, in their first innings, suffered a collapse of 6 for 11. Spin was responsible for all but five of the 31 wickets that fell and there were, in total, 16 single-digit scores by the time the game ended on the third morning.
The last time a pitch in India was rated poor was in 2017, the Pune Test where Australia beat India on a similarly spiteful turner. Broad was the one who handed out that sanction as well.
Nagpur and Delhi, the venues for the first two Tests of this tour in 2023, produced surfaces which were rated "average" by match referee Andy Pycroft.