India head coach Rahul Dravid was unapologetic about the spinner-friendly pitches being produced in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, despite the criticism and poor rating the Indore pitch received by the ICC. Ahead of the final Test match at Ahmedabad, he said that with World Test Championship points at stake, majority of nations would likely to prepare result-oriented pitches.
India leads Australia 2-1 in the four-test series where all of the games have been completed in three days. Although not unplayable by any means, the discourse since before a ball had been bowled in the series, had been about pitches. In addition to skipper Rohit Sharma, Dravid echoed the sentiment and defended the home team’s defence of the three tracks in Nagpur, Delhi and Indore.
On the “poor” rating of the Indore track by ICC match referee Chris Broad, Dravid said in the press conference on Tuesday, “I won’t go too much into it. Match referee is entitled to share his opinion. Doesn’t really matter if I agree with his reading or not. Doesn’t matter what I think. But sometimes with WTC points at stake, you tend to play on wickets that produce results.”
“It can happen, not only in India but across the world if you see, sometimes it is difficult to get that balance perfectly right for everyone and that can happen not only here but in other places as well,” he added.
He continued, “We have played on some challenging wickets when we go overseas also. Played in South Africa recently (2022), where spinners were completely taken out of the game. And everyone wants to produce wickets where eventually one wants results. You will probably prepare wickets where the ball holds a bit more sway over the bat and that’s necessary and part of the game.”
IND vs AUS: Rohit Sharma defiant as India’s batting comes under the scanner on Indore turner
However, what remains an issue for India is the underwhelming performance by the top-order batters. Barring Rohit Sharma’s century in Nagpur and a fifty by Cheteshwar Pujara in Indore, the batting has largely been held down by the lower-middle order, particularly Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.
“You need to be realistic as to what is a good performance on these challenging wickets,” said Dravid.
He added: “So, you need to be realistic what the benchmarks are now, what standards are on these kinds of surfaces just one good performance can change the game. It might not be a double hundred but a 50-60 or 70 somewhere, but could actually be a very, very good score in some conditions.”
Quotes courtesy: PTI