Ian Chappell blasts 'rubbish' pitch controversy amid India horror show

The former Aussie captain said the drama pitch drama in India has worrying.

Steve Smith walks off after his dismissal and Ian Chappell during broadcast.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell (pictured right) has taken aim at the circumstances surrounding the pitch controversy after 14 wickets fell on Day 1 of the third Test match between India and Australia. (Getty Images)

Aussie cricket great Ian Chappell has taken aim at the pitch drama in India and claimed players and administrators should generally stay clear of curators after the controversy in Indore on Day 1 between Australian and India. Australia's left-arm offspinner Matt Kuhnemann ripped through India after producing ludicrous figures of 5-16 to leave the host's baffled over the pitch that through up unbelievable spin and uneven bounce.

India were rolled for their fourth lowest total at home against Australia and cricket greats took aim at the pitch, which could see another Test match fail to reach four days. Aussie great Matthew Hayden led the criticism on air as he claimed spinners shouldn't be called upon as quickly as the sixth over.

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He also took exception to the unpredictable spin and bounce so early on Day 1, which saw India all out for 109. And former Australian captain Ian Chappell has also weighed-in on the fiery debate.

Chappell blasted the notion that players could be dictating to curators how they want the pitch to appear for the batters and bowlers to give the home side an advantage. And Chappell said it hardly ever works out, which was the case for India on Wednesday.

“Should players and administrators be telling the curators how to prepare the pitch and what sort of pitch they want? It is the greatest bit of rubbish I have ever heard,” Chappell said on ESPNCricinfo after the day's play.

“The pitch should be left to the curator. The curator produces what he thinks is a good pitch, and then you as players get on and play on it. Once you have got the administrators and cricketers telling people what they think should the pitch be, then you are asking for trouble.”

While Chappell was left frustrated with a divisive pitch, he said it wasn't solely to blame. The former Aussie captain said India wouldn't be happy with their batting performance even if conditions were tough.

“It is certainly the worst of the three pitches we have seen, but it definitely wasn’t a 109-run pitch,” he added. "India were bowled out for 109, but that was an unfair showing on the pitch. You needed a bit of luck and the Australians probably had the luck going for them.”

Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh blast Indore conditions

Former Australian opener Hayden was one of the biggest critics of the Day 1 pitch. “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.

Marnus Labuschagne is bowled by Ravindra Jadeja.
The pitch at Indore came under fire after batters such as Marnus Labuschagne (pictured right) struggled with the uneven turn and bounce. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) (Robert Cianflone via Getty Images)

However, Usman Khawaja showed how to bat on the turning pitch having played a straight bat and showed patience during a tough innings. Khawaja's 60 runs, being caught by Shubman Gill after a sweep shot, help set-up Marnus Labuschagne (31) and Steve Smith (28) so the team could start Day 2 with a 47 run lead.

“Excellent half century, and just the way that he’s played. He’s seemed comfortable at the crease, he’s had soft hands, low hands … He hasn’t overhit. He’s been the standout for me today," Matthew Hayden said in Fox Sports commentary.

However, Australia will be keen to build on their lead in the first session of Day 2 with knowledge the controversial pitch could disintegrate as the days pass.

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