Why Team India makes spinner-friendly pitches: The aim is to eliminate the role of the toss, the pressure to get WTC points dominates
This is not a satellite image of the moon. This is the pitch of Indore on which the third Test match between India and Australia took place. The Indian team lost the match in two and a half days and after the match, the ICC gave this pitch a ‘poor rating’.
It is not that this type of pitch has been seen for the first time. Most of the Test matches that have taken place in India in the last few years have been played on similar pitches.
The question arises that why India is getting such pitches made at home. Can the team not win on a normal pitch?
The answer to this question will be known in detail in this story. Along with this, we will also know what are the side effects of such pitches that India has to face. Lastly, we will also see how spinner-friendly pitches are made. What messages are given to the ground staff by the team management?
Let’s start with the two reasons that are responsible for these pitches
1. Eliminating the importance of the toss
The traditional pitches of India are heaven for batting on the first two days. From the third day, the ball starts turning and on the fourth-fifth day, it becomes a paradise for the spinners.
Team India was facing a big threat on such pitches against strong teams. That was the danger of losing the toss. In the event of losing the toss, if the front team had put up a score of 500-600 runs while batting first, then it would have been difficult for India to return to the match.
Something similar happened in Chennai against England in 2021. England won the toss and elected to bat first and scored 578 runs thanks to a double century by captain Joe Root. India lost the match by 227 runs.
This happened because the spinners got little help on the first two days and the English batsmen scored easily. India got to bat on the third day and by then the spinners had come into the game. India could not make a comeback.
After this, such pitches were made from the second Test on which turn was present from the first day. outcome. India won the next three Tests and won the series 3–1.
2. Pressure to earn WTC points
Ever since the World Test Championship (WTC) started, every team has to play three Test series at home and three away series in a time period of two years.
In the first WTC (2019-21), India had to play its last series against England at home. To reach the final, India had to win three out of 4 Test matches. After the defeat in the first match, there was pressure on India to win all the matches. Then such pitches were made on which India’s chances of victory were maximum.
In the current WTC (2021-23), India needed to win 5 of their last 6 matches to make it to the finals. India beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the 2-test match series. After this, the pressure was on to win the four-match series against Australia by at least a 3–1 margin. Then such pitches are made on which the Indian team has more chance of winning. The victory in the first two Test matches of the series also gave strength to this theory that the pitches should be such that turn is given from the first day.
However, Australia has turned the tide in the third Test and the Indian team seems to be falling into their own trap. Despite this, Indian captain Rohit Sharma has indicated that the fourth Test may also see the same pitch as it was in the first three Tests.
What do the ICC rules say about the mood of the pitch?
Next, we will know how harmful pitches that are more helpful to the spinners have been for India. Before that, let us know what is the stand of ICC on how the Test match pitches should be.
ICC allows the home team to prepare pitches according to its strength in a bilateral series. All the teams around the world have been doing this for 146 years. That’s why the Indian team management’s making a spin track does not violate any rules and ethics. However, ICC also insists on fair contests between bat and ball. It believes that the pitches should not become such that either the batsmen completely dominate or the bowlers. That’s why ICC issues pitch ratings after every match.
The pitches in the first two Test matches of the India-Australia series got an average rating. Average means work. But the Indore pitch has got a poor rating. This means that such pitches are not acceptable.
Now let’s know what are the disadvantages that India had to face in making a spin track…
1. Our batsmen forgot to score runs
Not only foreign batsmen but our stars are also struggling on the spinning track. Apart from Rishabh Pant, no Indian batsman has scored an average of above 50 on Indian pitches in Test cricket since 1 January 2021. Virat Kohli, who scored runs at an average of above 50 before 2021, has been able to score only 400 runs at an average of 25 in 10 Tests in India during this period. Cheteshwar Pujara averages 23. Ajinkya Rahane scored at an average of just 18.
2. Spicy pitches are also available abroad
If we make spin-friendly tracks for the failure of foreign batsmen, then in return we also get pace-friendly tracks abroad. Foreign teams do this to settle scores with India. Due to this, most of our batsmen are seen struggling abroad as well. It is a matter of pride that we currently have more than one bowler in both the pace and spin departments.