ICC handed India a blunt verdict on the Indore pitch after the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series witnessed a three-day finish with hosts Australia scripting an emphatic nine-wicket win. ICC gave a “poor” rating to the pitch under the committee’s Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. Legendary Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar was left fuming at ICC’s verdict, calling it “harsh”, while also giving a brutal reminder of the Gabba pitch last November, which had hosted a Test between Australia and South Africa.
On a raging turner, that showed 4.8 degrees of turn on Day 1, spinners had a ball in Indore. They accounted for as many as 26 of the 31 wickets that fell during the matches with Nathan Lyon, the Player of the Match in Australia’s win, having 11 to his name.
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Speaking on the pitch, which received three demerit points, ICC Match Referee Chris Broad said: “The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favoring spinners from the start. 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.”
Sunil Gavaskar, in conversation with India Today, said, “One thing I would like to know, there was this Test match in November in Brisbane Gabba, where the match finished in 2 days. How many demerit points did that pitch get and who was the match referee there? I think 3 demerit points is a little harsh, because, in this pitch, yes the ball turned, but it was not dangerous. When Australia get to a score of 77 for the loss of one wicket it actually tells you that the pitch got a lot better.”
The Gabba pitch, which was criticized by many, including South Africa skipper Dean Elgar, had received a ‘below average’ rating from the ICC.
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His prognosis, by ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees member Richie Richardson, had read, “Overall, the Gabba pitch for this Test match was too much in favor of the bowlers. There was extra bounce and occasional excessive seam movement. The odd delivery also kept low on the second day, making it very difficult for batters to build partnerships. I found the pitch to be “below average” as per the ICC guidelines since it was not an even contest between bat and ball.”