Nagpur and Delhi which hosted the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia have received an average rating from the International Cricket Council (ICC), reported Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday. The playing surfaces were the subject of huge discussion ahead of the blockbuster series.
Fair not flawless
The pitch at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur has received an "average" rating from the governing body of the sport and its match referee, Zimbabwe's Andy Pycroft.
Pycroft also gave the pitch for the second Test at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium, where Australia fought valiantly for two days before being dismissed for 113 runs in the third, an "average" grade. The ground was judged to be fair, if not flawless.
There was a lot of buzz around the Nagpur pitch even before the the match began. Online images of "selective watering," which was used to make sure the regions outside of left-handers' off stumps were left dry for spinners, also surfaced.
Indian spinners exploited conditions better
With both matches being completed in three days and the spin combo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja dominating the Australian batters, it was clear evidence that the Indian spinners were better able to take advantage of the surface.
For the Aussies, it was challenging to get rid of Jadeja and Axar Patel, as spin veterans Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Pat Cummins, and Scott Boland failed to do so for low scores.
More than 242 runs were scored by the seven left-handed players on the Australian team, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Alex Carey, Warner, Matt Kuhnemann, Matt Renshaw, and Murphy, combined in the series by Jadeja and Patel.
India will play the third Test in Indore from March 1 onwards, while the final Test will be held in Ahmedabad from March 9. The first ODI between Australia and India is in Mumbai on March 17, before the remaining two games in Vizag (March 19) and Chennai (March 22).
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