“What Are We Trying To Prove”: Former India Selector Furious Over Pitch Brawl
The pitches used in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia have been continuously grabbing headlines with all the three Test matches being concluded within three days so far. The criticism got worse as the pitch at Indore was deemed “poor” by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and received three demerit points. Former India selector Saba Karim expressed his concern over the increasing trend of spin-friendly pitches in the series and also wondered what this strategy could mean for the spirit of the game. During a recent interaction, he lamented the lack of support for the batsmen in the Indore pitch and said that an equal competition would be appreciated by both fans and players.
“Australia have Steve Smith and India have Virat Kohli, arguably the top two batsmen in world cricket. But we haven’t got to see their batting in this series. What are we trying to prove by making wickets like this ?” he told India News at the end of the second day’s play in the Indore Test.
“In our desperation to qualify for the WTC final, we have lost the spirit of Test cricket. We have No. 1 and No. 2 teams competing here. If the competition was between all sides, it would have been a pleasure to watch them play. ” of Test cricket,” the former India selector explained when asked about the controversy.
There was no turning back in the tale as Australia turned the tables on India with an emphatic nine-wicket win in the third Test, confirming their place in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).
The match was over in less than two days before Travis Head (49 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (28 not out) powered Australia home in 18.5 overs.
Wins in India are rare for visiting teams and it was no different for Australia, who registered their first win on Indian soil in six years.
For India, it was only their third defeat in the last 10 years and they will need to rework their plans ahead of the final Test starting March 9 in Ahmedabad. It remains to be seen if India’s preference for spin-friendly pitches changes and the home side’s batsmen struggle badly to deal with the challenging conditions.
India could only manage 109 and 163 runs in their two innings.
Judging by the way Australia collapsed in the second innings in Nagpur and Delhi, “anything” was on the cards on Friday morning. Chasing 76, Australia were favorites but R Ashwin raised hopes of a miracle when he dismissed Usman Khawaja on the second ball of the day.
The ball turned sharply and went to the wicketkeeper on the way. The wicket increased the nervousness in the Australian dressing room.
Labuschagne eased those nerves by square cutting Ravindra Jadeja for his first boundary of the day.
Labuschagne and Head, who are known for their aggressive approach, were both looking to defend in the first 10 overs which saw Australia reeling at 13 for one.
However, the momentum shifted decisively in Australia’s favor after the change of ball after the 10th over.
Ashwin was not happy even after changing the ball and it reflected in his bowling. Head hit the star Indian spinner for a four and a six over mid-on in the 11th over as the premier spinner was guilty of bowling too much.
Head attacked Jadeja in the next over, hitting a direct hit over the bowler’s head, and this also gave confidence to Labuschagne, who went for the sweep in the same over and finished with 35 for one in 12 overs.
After that, there was no looking back for the Australian pair who had gained enough confidence in their shots.
Labuschagne scored the winning runs, a four over mid-wicket to complete a memorable victory.
(With PTI inputs)
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