Indore pitch rated ‘poor’ by ICC, worst rating in five years
The Indore pitch used for the third India-Australia Test has been rated ‘poor’ by the ICC, leaving it in danger of a ban from hosting international cricket if it is penalised again in the future.
The Test was won by Australia, only the third time India have lost a home Test in the last decade. Spin dominated throughout, with the game ending inside seven sessions and no team total reaching 200.
“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start,” said ICC match referee Chris Board. “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.”
It is exceedingly rare for a pitch to receive such a rating. No Test surface has done so in the past five years, with India also involved in the most recent, the 2018 Johannesburg Test against South Africa, a game which had to be stopped for a time because of the dangerous bounce, before resuming and being played to a finish.
The Holkar Stadium has been handed three demerit points – if it accumulates five in a rolling five-year period, it will be banned from hosting international cricket for 12 months.
The state of the surfaces has long been a topic of discussion in India, with slow bowlers on top throughout the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, the pitches for the first two Tests were each rated ‘average’, avoiding a sanction.