Former Australian seamer Michael Kasprowicz has observed that the pitch talk surrounding the ongoing Test series in India has been blown out of proportion. He believes that the wickets have behaved as they should.
While the pitch in Nagpur and Delhi didn’t spark any debate, the deck in Indore came under the scanner as it spun sharply from the first session. Spinners claimed 26 out of the 31 wickets as Australia won in two and a half days.
Speaking to The Age, Kasprowicz reckons that the wicket in Indore was a slight anomaly, mainly due to the early morning’s moisture. However, the 51-year-old believes it behaved normally later in the day.
“I don’t believe the hype, I reckon because for all the attention around the pitches they were typically Indian wickets. I realise this last one in Indore did a few tricks early on, but because they’re starting so early (9.30am), maybe that little bit of moisture helps grab the ball. But at other stages later in the day, it wasn’t doing anything like that.”
The Queenslander, a key player in Australia’s series win in India 19 years ago, remembers how the Bengaluru track in 1998 looked like a minefield. He said:
“When I say don’t believe the hype, I know the odd ball was turning square, and it got a poor rating, but I remember turning up to the Bangalore Test in 1998, and I’ve got a picture of me standing on the wicket. It honestly looks like a dry creek bed. There’s no grass, but it’s got these cracks and spider cracks all down the whole face of it.
“And you just go well, like that’s what we’re gonna play on. And guess what? We’ve got to adapt and adjust. That’s the game of Test cricket.”
The track at Holkar Stadium received a poor rating as match referee Chris Broad stated that it didn’t offer a good balance between bat and ball. Moreover, Indian and Australian cricket experts condemned the pitch as a poor advertisement for Test cricket.
“Head and Marnus batted really well” – Michael Kasprowicz
Reflecting on Australia’s convincing win in Indore, Kasprowicz hailed their resilience and after stumbling in the first two Tests. The 51-year-old added:
“Obviously, after the Delhi experience of that second inning, the Australians adapted to the conditions and did really well. And so come the second innings they were 1/76 and got through. Head and Marnus batted really well. They found a way, and that’s what Australia’s been known to do over all these years.”
Travis Head top-scored with an unbeaten 49 as Australia comfortably chased down the target of 76 in the fourth innings. The fourth and final Test will start on March 9th in Ahmedabad.