ICC Rates Indore Pitch ‘Poor’ After 3rd Test Ends In Just Over 2 Days; Will BCCI Appeal?

Indore: The third Test ended in the first session of Day 3 – not even halfway through the match – as Australia beat India by 9 wickets at the Holkar Stadium here on Friday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) was quick to rate the pitch ‘poor’ after Match Referee Chris Broad submitted his report following consultation with the two captains, Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith.

Consequently, Holkar Stadium was handed 3 demerit points.

As per the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, a venue will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months if it accumulates 5 or more demerit points over a five-year rolling period.

“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring 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,” Broad stated.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has 14 days to appeal against the sanction.

Team India’s strategy of preparing turning pitches for home Tests for once backfired on them. Rohit Sharma’s men were skittled out for 109 in 33.2 overs in the first innings and then 163 in 60.3 overs the second time, as Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon captured 11 wickets in the match.

Australia, who managed 197 in their first essay, coasted to the target of 76 runs on Friday morning.

The first two matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy had also ended on the third day, but lasted slightly longer. The pitches at Nagpur’s VCA Stadium and Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla, however, received ‘average’ rating.

With India leading 2-1, the final Test will be played at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from March 9.

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