England great Mike Atherton has sent the cricket world into overdrive after revealing images of the Hyderabad pitch only moments before England won the toss. England started their Test match series against India on Thursday with question marks once again being raised over how the pitch will play.
A year ago, Australia lost 2-1 in a tightly-fought series against India. However, the pitches in the first three Test matches came under heavy scrutiny. Australia played in Nagpur, Delhi and Indore, but all three matches finished within three days. India won comfortable in both Nagpur and Delhi, but Australia was able to make a series of it in Indore.
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Spinners took 95 out of 113 wickets in that four-match series with the Australian quicks nullified on the tuning surfaces. And Atherton posted a photo of the pitch only moments before the toss, which saw cricket fans once again jump at the prospect of a turning wicket.
The pitch was dry and was already showing signs of cracks. England took a team ready to take in their aggressive 'BazBall' approach against an Indian team missing Virat Kohli. There has been plenty of hype around how Zac Crawley, Ben Duckett, Joe Root and Ben Stokes will attack the Indian team.
And fans couldn't help but once again take a crack at the pitch in Hyderabad, which is a world away from the green wickets of the UK. England w
Win the toss and choose to play on the strip adjacent?
— Michael Bell (@disirregardless) January 25, 2024
It’s already cracked
— Centrist Dad (@daddymojorisin) January 25, 2024
That’s gonna be a day 4 pitch by the end of the first session 😂😂
— Liam Johnson (@LiamJoh15860837) January 25, 2024
— Mike atherton (@Athersmike) January 25, 2024
England got off to a great start having won the toss and electing to bat. At 0-41, Crawley and Duckett were dictating play, before India brought on their spinners in the eighth over.
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England were the last team ti triumph in India having won the 2012 series under Alastair Cook. India have since destroyed their opponents having only lost three of their last 44 matches at home. Australia's victory last year contributed to one of the three losses.
And Indian captain Rohit Sharma wasn't looking at past records heading into the 'BazBall' challenge with England. "I don't think we are unbeatable," India captain Sharma said.
"Whatever past records we have over the past decade or so, they do not guarantee that we will come out on top in this series. We will have to play well to win this series."
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