A few minutes before the rest of the Indian team reached the Narendra Modi Stadium for training ahead of the fourth and final Test against Australia, skipper Rohit Sharma walked in to have a look at the wicket.
As the two strips were covered, Rohit went towards the far right and took a closer look at the surface that looked fresh, that did not seem like a rank-turner. Shortly, the captain was joined by coach Rahul Dravid, and for the next ten-odd minutes, the two observed the surface and exchanged a few words before moving towards the nets.
With the Indore Test not lasting beyond seven sessions, and ICC terming the wicket as ‘poor’, the pitch has once again become the talking point. But as the home team gears up for the key clash and hopes to book a berth in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Dravid admitted that with the WTC spot at stake, wickets are getting challenging across the world.
“It (the WTC) could be one of the reasons. There is too much premium on results. You draw a game like in Kanpur against New Zealand (in 2021). They [India] took nine wickets in the second innings and you draw the game and it sets you back in a home game. There is tough competition all around, every team is getting results at home. There is a premium on results whether at home or away,” Dravid said.
“In this competition, you get four points for a draw and 12 points for a win, so there is a premium on that. There is no question about that.”
He did not want to comment on ICC rating the Indore pitch as ‘poor’, Dravid, however, made it clear that teams do tend to produce result-oriented wickets keeping WTC qualification in mind. “The match referee is entitled to make his opinion, and share his thoughts on the pitches. It doesn’t matter whether I agree with his reading or not. Sometimes, with WTC points at stake, you are looking to play on wickets that produce results and it can happen sometimes, not only in India but across the world,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s difficult to get that balance right for everyone. That can happen, not only here but it has happened in other places as well.”
Ever since the series got underway, there have been a lot of talk over India’s decision to produce rank-turners and Dravid believes that the wicket shouldn’t be the prime focus.
“Whatever is the wicket, honestly it does not matter. There is a lot of talk on the wicket for a lot of time, it is the same for both teams. Sometimes, it does get challenging for the bowlers and at times, it’s challenging for batters. Wickets are like that. We have to learn to play on them, we have to adjust. We played on some challenging wickets overseas, whenever we go,” Dravid said.
“We played on some wickets in South Africa recently where the spinner was completely taken out of the game. Everyone’s trying to produce wickets where you eventually want results in these games and that’s natural…”
Batting for a ‘realistic’ approach, Dravid also indicated that the high-profile visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on the first day of the game, will not be a distraction for his team. .
- BAN vs NZ, 1st Test: Bangladesh beats New Zealand by 150 runs
- WPL Auction 2024: Full list of 165 players available for December 9 auction
- Mitrovic’s late brace helps seal a huge win for Al Hilal against Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League
- IND vs AUS: Needed to bowl stump to stump to negate dew factor, says Axar
- IND vs AUS, 4th T20I: India beats Australia by 20 runs to win series