New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Former Australia captain Mark Taylor has slammed the pitches rolled out for the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, adding that the surface in Indore was the worst of them all.
Taylor’s comments come after the International Cricket Council (ICC), post a report submitted by match referee Chris Broad, rated the pitch in Indore used for the third Test, where Australia won by nine wickets, as “poor” under its Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process and also gave Holkar Stadium three demerit points.
“I agree with that (poor rating for Indore pitch). 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. 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,” Taylor was quoted as saying by The Herald and The Age.
Few months ago, the pitch for the Australia-South Africa Test at The Gabba had come under the scanner due to the match finishing in two and a half days, and was awarded a below average rating. Taylor believes the pitch at the Gabba did not favour Australia or South Africa.
“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. 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 much (as Australia) because they’ve got four very good seamers.”
“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.”
“It probably brought Australia’s spin bowlers into the game a lot more than they (India) thought it was going to,” he elaborated.
On day one of the Test, India lost seven wickets in the first session after electing to bat first, as Matthew Kuhnemann ran through to pick his maiden five-wicket haul as they were bowled out for meagre 109, as 14 wickets fell on day one, with one delivery getting massive turn of 8.3 degrees.
After Australia took an 88-run lead, India were bowled out for 163 in the second innings. Barring top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara’s 59, none of the batters stepped up as Nathan Lyon took an eight-wicket haul to give Australia a target of 76, which they chased down in 18.5 overs on Friday, giving India their third loss in Tests at home in the last ten years.
With the win in Indore, Australia have made the four-game scoreline 2-1 and also sealed a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, to be held at The Oval from June 7-11. The fourth and final Test of the series will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from March 9. – IANS