NEW DELHI: Former Australian captain Mark Taylor
has come down hard on the pitches used for the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Taylor, who played 104 Tests for Australia between 1989 and 1999,, alleged that some amount of “skullduggery” must have been involved in preparation of such tracks.
India are currently leading the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. The fourth and final Test will be played from March 9 in Ahmedabad. While pitches in Nagpur and New Delhi were rated “average” by the ICC, the pitch for the Indore Test was rated “poor” by match referee Chris Broad.
“I agree with that,” Taylor said of the ICC rating the Indore pitch as poor.
Nathan Lyon’s top-5 conquests against India
<p>In the second match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2016-17 at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Nathan Lyon bowled one of his most iconic bowling spells of his Test career. Lyon scalped 8 wickets in his first-inning spell. Lyon finished his spell at 8/50 which is his career-best bowling figures in Test cricket.</p>
<p>In the third Test at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, on a red-turning track, Nathan Lyon bowled venomously against the Indians in the second innings of the match. Lyon’s sharp spin troubled the Indian batters which led to their batting collapse and defeat. Lyon ended his spell at 8/64, the second-best bowling figures of his career. Lyon went past Sri Lanka’s legend Muttiah Murlitharan to 2nd place on the list of most wickets against India and also equalled Richie Benaud’s tally of most 5-wicket hauls vs India in India.</p>
<p>In the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Delhi, Nathan Lyon bowled a fantastic spell and claimed 7-wicket in the first innings. The game was won by India but Lyon’s figures of 7/94 in the match was highly appreciated by the cricket experts.</p>
<p>When the rampaging Virat Kohli was all-over the strong Australian bowling line-up at Adelaide, there was Nathan Lyon who kept taking wickets in the middle until he took the prized scalp of Virat Kohli. Lyon ended his spell at 7/152 and won the game single-handedly against a promising Indian side.</p>
<p>The first match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2018-19 saw the emergence of a new Indian team batting against the Australians. The Indians went on to attack the Australian team and won the first game and the series later on. From Australia’s side, only Nathan Lyon really stood out. In the Indian second innings of the first Test, Nathan Lyon ended with figures of 6/122.</p>
“I definitely think the pitches have been poor for the series, to be totally honest, and obviously the Indore one was the worst of the three. I don’t believe a pitch should be going through the top on day one,” he was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
“You might understand that day four or five if the game goes that long, but not day one, that’s just poor preparation. I thought Indore was a very poor pitch and should have been ranked accordingly,” the former opener said.
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar, however, was critical of the “poor” rating of the Indore pitch, citing the example of the Gabba surface which was given “below average” rating by the ICC despite the first Test between Australia and South Africa ended inside two days in last December.
But Taylor begs to differ, stating that the Brisbane pitch was equal for both the sides, unlike the surfaces for the first three Tests of the ongoing India-Australia series which are specifically tailor-made for the spinners.
“I think they’ve got to keep an eye on that sort of stuff because people look at the Gabba this season. The groundsman there just got it wrong,” the former Australian captain said.
“He left too much grass on it but, in a way, it didn’t favour either side. It would have favoured the South African seamers just as much (as Australia) because they’ve got four very good seamers.
Indore pitch rated ‘poor’ after third Test ended inside three days
<p>The ICC on Friday rated the pitch used for the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test match at the Holkar Stadium as “poor”.</p>
<p>Australia beat India by nine wickets in Indore in a little over two days on a rank turner.</p>
<p>The poor rating also earned Indore 3 demerit points and it will remain active for a 5 years rolling period.</p>
<p>A venue that gets 5 demerit points over a 5-year period is suspended from hosting international cricket for 12 months.</p>
<p>India were all out for 109 and 163 in their two innings in Indore.</p>
<p>Australia managed 197 in their first essay before knocking off required 76 runs for a win on the 3rd morning.</p>
<p>The report has been forwarded to BCCI, who now have 14 days if they wish to appeal against the sanction.</p>
<p>”The pitch was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat & ball and favoured spinners from the start,” said Chris Broad.</p>
<p>Win in Indore helped Australia seal a place in the WTC final in June.</p>
<p>India lead the series 2-1 with the fourth and final Test to be played in Ahmedabad from Thursday.</p>
“So I don’t think there was any skulduggery going on at the Gabba. I think with Indore, I hope I can say the same thing there, but what happened there, the pitch was so poorly prepared it actually made the game a bit more of a lottery, which didn’t favour India at all,” Taylor said.
“It probably brought Australia’s spin bowlers into the game a lot more than they (India) thought it was going to.”
(With inputs from PTI)