Bengaluru: The condition of the pitch at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium in Pune has left everyone aghast – especially Team India and their fans.
The talk ahead of the first of the four Tests between India and Australia was that Pune will offer a sporting pitch, that will have something for everyone.
Pune ground curator Pandurang Salgaonkar had told the media ahead of the first Test that “the ball will fly”. However, that was hardly the case, as we saw an extremely spin-friendly track.
Legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne had described the Pune track as a “day five pitch”, while analysing it, ahead of the first day’s play.
The pitch later went on to play a huge role in the Test match, which finished with a little over two days remaining, as the Aussies ran away with a 333-run victory.
Hence, all the talk ahead of the second Test in Bengaluru, has been about the 22-yard-strip at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
“It was up to them to prepare a wicket (in Pune), and they prepared a wicket that actually played into our hands. It would be interesting to see what they come up with in Bangalore,” Australia skipper Steve Smith told the media.
Naturally the ground staff have generally been secretive about the pitch that they are preparing in the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
However, reports have emerged that the Bengaluru track is unlikely to resemble that of Pune.
While the Pune pitch was not watered for around four days (according to Warne) ahead of the first Test, reports coming out of Bengaluru suggest that the ground staff are planning to keep 22-yard-strip well watered – at least until a couple of days ahead of the match, which gets underway on Saturday.
According to the Indian Express, the Bengaluru track will not be drastically different from what it generally is – a slow turner, that would generally start giving ‘itchy fingers’ to the spinners after a couple of days.
The Australian spinners, namely Steve O’Keefe were extremely effective in Pune. The 32-year-old himself picked up 12 wickets in the match, completely destroying the Indian batting order.
O’Keefe’s Indian counterparts will be hoping to get back to their usual best in Bengaluru, as they try to make amends for their dismal display in the first Test.
A ‘slow turner’ is something that the trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jayant Yadav would relish bowling on, in order to get back to their usual high standards of spin bowling, that they have shown in the ongoing home season....