The matches have been short but there have bee enough eye-catching performances from both India and Australia in their ongoing four-match Test series. However, the pitches seem to have emerged as the biggest talking point with batters struggling to get going on surfaces ruled by spinners.
The first two Tests nearly lasted three days but the third in Indore was over in just over two days and the ICC rated the pitch used at Holkar Stadium as ‘poor’.
Australia head coach Andrew McDonald though hasn’t directly commented on the pitch but he does term the conditions as ‘extreme’ while adding the job is to find solution to whatever is put in front of them.
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“I mean, our job is to play on the pitch. So whatever they they roll up, our job is to problem solve what’s in front of us. So that’s for others to work through. I mean the ICC are…yeah, they give every pitch a rating and they gave this one a poor. So you know we don’t talk when they give it a good rating. So it’s up to them how they want to navigate through that. So the conditions were extreme. I think they’ve been extreme for all three Test matches," McDonald told reporters on Saturday.
After suffering crushing defeats in Nagpur and Delhi, Australia had some sort of a revenge when they dished out a vastly improved show across departments to bat India by nine wickets in Indore and cut down the lead to just one Test.
Nathan Lyon was the star of the show with 11 wickets in the match but McDonald said luck also played a role in their victory.
“We had a little bit of luck. Marnus (Labuschagne) getting bowled off a no-ball (from Ravindra Jadeja), how critical was that at that point in time, (and) that allowed a partnership (with Umsan Khawaja) to flourish. We took our opportunities as well," McDonald said.
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He added, “Usman’s (Khawaja) flying catch and then Smudge (Steve Smith) winding back the clock with that one at leg slip. You compare that to the Delhi game where Smudge dropped one at first slip and then we dropped one at leg slip in Matthew Renshaw, and they were critical. We had one hour of chaos there and that cost us that Test match when we’d played pretty good cricket. We came here and doubled down on what we’d set out to achieve at the start of the tour."
McDonald hopes that the players on the current tour will be return better equipped for future challenges.
“Everyone’s journey starts at some point in time on the subcontinent, and I think there’s a core group of players that will come back here more experienced and, in theory, better equipped for the challenges. We’re talking about a series here where we’ve had certain conditions that probably aren’t relatable to any other subcontinent tour over time, so it’s always a different challenge when you do arrive here," he said.
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