Aussie cricket greats Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh have lamented the pitch in Indore as spin wreaked havoc yet again as 14 wickets tumbled across the first day. Matt Kuhnemann has kept Australia's hopes of levelling the series alive after career best first-class figures of 5-16 on Day 1 against India.
The host's won the toss and elected to bat, but couldn't have predicted the astonishing conditions they were in for as wicket after wicket tumbled on the Indore pitch with an average spin of 4.8 degrees. To put this into context, the previous Test match in Delhi had an average spin of 3.8 degrees, while the first Test in Nagpur was 2.5 degrees.
It didn't take long for Aussie great Hayden to blast the condition of the pitch with another Test match looking like it won't go past Day 3. “This is why I’ve got a problem with these conditions. There’s no way in the world that a spin bowler should come on in the sixth over," Hayden said on Fox Sports commentary.
“4.8 degrees, that’s massive turn. That’s the sort of turn you’d expect day three. You’ve got to give batters a chance... Day one, day two should be about batting...It shouldn’t be a spin bowler’s paradise necessarily, it shouldn’t be keeping low and turning a mile on day one,” he added.
After Nathan Lyon and Kuhnemann picked up the quick wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara, Hayden blasted the forecast of the game. The Aussie great pointed out that fans wanting to visit Indore on day three and four could be rethinking their plans.
“The game shouldn’t be moving forward this quickly. You’re allowed to have a four or five day Test match! Otherwise just call it as it is, we’ll just play three-dayers," he said.
“The game’s at this pace, I feel sorry for fans working out what they’re tickets are going to be on day four.”
Aussie great Mark Waugh echoed Hayden's sentiment. Having been sent home from India for the third Test, Waugh added that the pitch wasn't up to Test standard. "This pitch is not up to Test standard," he said on Fox Sports.
Cricket fans question Indore pitch after India collapse
Cricket fans around the world couldn't believe what they were seeing with 14 wickets falling between the two best teams in the world, according to ICC rankings. Former Aussie One Day International spinner Brad Hogg quipped that the Test had turned into a short format game.
While others couldn't believe the level of turn and uneven bounce on the Day 1 wicket, which forebodes even more trouble for the Aussie batters in the first session on Day 2.
I’ll be buggered if this game goes 3 days.
This pitch is ragging and bitchin! Lyon rips one that turned and kept low through Pujara first over.
India 3-39 in 40 minutes of play.
Kuhnemann took first 2. pic.twitter.com/eCEPjsaGIU
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) March 1, 2023
Indian pitches are the main reason for the downfall of our best batters in Test cricket. It's not acceptable 😕. It's not fair for both teams. In India Test matches should be consider as three & two days.... #INDvAUS #BGT #BGT2023 #ViratKohli𓃵 pic.twitter.com/gH0JMOi15u
— Vinay Kulkarni (@Vin____11) March 1, 2023
— The Spence (@adambspencer) March 1, 2023
This is a travesty of a pitch. I don't care if India go on to win this, but this detracts from what a Test match pitch should be. Atrocious.
— Arun Krishnan 🇮🇳 (@ArunKrishnan_) March 1, 2023
— Richy Myers (@DickWillyM) March 1, 2023
Poor pitch. Just like the earlier ones.
But, even this poor pitch in first session of Day 1 wouldn’t be as bad as Day 4 or 5 of earlier times on better surfaces: those times the batsmen had better skills?
Perhaps Yes. Playing top-class spin is a diminishing art in India #IndvAus
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) March 1, 2023
Australia go into day two at 4-156, a lead of 47 over the shell-shocked Indians. Kuhnemann, playing in his second Test, starred with 5-16 as India crumbled for 109 - their fourth lowest total at home against Australia and their shortest innings in terms of balls since 2008.
The Queenslander said the team was upbeat after the first innings and was confident the batters could build on the lead on Day 2. "Really special to take wickets out there with the team," Kuhnemann said after his best haul in first-class cricket.
"It is a really good day for our team in general with the bowlers going really well and the batters stepping up as well and doing a good job for us. It's really cool, but there's a long way to go in this game."
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