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Pitches For India – Australia Series Have Been Poor: Mark Taylor

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Melbourne, March 4 (PTI): Former Australian captain Mark Taylor has come down hard on the three pitches used for the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, alleging that some amount of “skullduggery” must have been involved in preparation of such tracks.

India are currently leading 2-1 with a Test match left in Ahmedabad. While pitches in Nagpur and New Delhi were rated “average” by the ICC, the pitch for the Indore Test was rated “poor” by match referee Chris Broad.

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Leading 2-0 going into the third Test, the Indian batters were undone by the Indore pitch as Australia recorded a thumping nine-wicket win in the third match to register a big win, which was Rohit Sharma-led side’s only third loss at home in 45 Tests in the past decade.

“I agree with that,” Taylor said of the ICC rating the Indore pitch as poor.

“I definitely think the pitches have been poor for the series, to be totally honest, and obviously the Indore one was the worst of the three. I don’t believe a pitch should be going through the top on day one,” he was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

“You might understand that day four or five if the game goes that long, but not day one, that’s just poor preparation. I thought Indore was a very poor pitch and should have been ranked accordingly,” the former opener said.

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The legendary Sunil Gavaskar, however, was critical of the “poor” rating of the Indore pitch, citing the example of the Gabba surface which was given “below average” rating by the ICC despite the first Test between Australia and South Africa ended inside two days in last December.

But Taylor begs to differ, stating that the Brisbane pitch was equal for both the sides, unlike the surfaces for the first three Tests of the ongoing India-Australia series which are specifically tailor-made for the spinners.

“I think they’ve got to keep an eye on that sort of stuff because people look at the Gabba this season. The groundsman there just got it wrong,” the former Australian captain said.

“He left too much grass on it but, in a way, it didn’t favour either side. It would have favoured the South African seamers just as much (as Australia) because they’ve got four very good seamers.

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“So I don’t think there was any skulduggery going on at the Gabba. I think with Indore, I hope I can say the same thing there, but what happened there, the pitch was so poorly prepared it actually made the game a bit more of a lottery, which didn’t favour India at all,” Taylor said.

“It probably brought Australia’s spin bowlers into the game a lot more than they (India) thought it was going to.”

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