Can India win on a normal pitch?

Updated: 06 March 2013 13:02 IST

Any unbiased analysis of the test would confirm Chennai was decided by the pitch more than anything else. On day one, it resembled a fifth day surface and by the fourth it was a deadly minefield, more like a long jump pit which provided steeling bounce and extraordinary turn. Australia's second innings lasted 93 overs, and India's new ball spearhead Ishant Sharma bowled a mere 3 of those.

Can India win on a normal pitch?
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It is always nice to defeat the Aussies but somehow there is a feeling of emptiness about the Chennai win.

The test was marked by some exceptional performances but despite the positives some troubling questions don't go away.

For instance :

Can India win on pitches that are not engineered/custom made?

Or, to put it more bluntly , are we not good enough to win without doctoring pitches?
Is India really  superior to Australia?
Would the result be the same if the track was not so spin friendly?

Any unbiased analysis of the test would confirm Chennai was decided by the pitch more than anything else. On day one, it resembled a fifth day surface and by the fourth it was a deadly minefield, more like a long jump pit which provided steeling bounce and extraordinary turn. Australia's second innings lasted 93 overs, and India's new ball spearhead Ishant Sharma bowled a mere 3 of those.

The inexperienced Aussies, missing Ponting and Hussey, could not cope. And so devilish was the track it looked unlikely that the result would have been different even if Bradman was playing.

Yet, there are some who refrain from condemning the pitch. If the track was the villain, they point out, how do you explain India scoring almost 600 and Dhoni plundering a double hundred? Surely, if batting was so impossible and the surface completely treacherous, neither India nor Dhoni should have achieved such impressive numbers.

This argument, though valid, does not convey the entire story. Dhoni played out of his skin, his was an astonishing innings crafted with courage and exceptional skill. But it was also assisted by the helplessness of the Aussies -- they simply did not have the ammunition to fight in the prevailing conditions. Their pace bowlers were flattened by the Chepauk dustbowl and Lyon, the sole spinner, lacked quality to trouble Indian batsmen .

So, what does  India take away from the test win .

Surely momentum because a test win us a win, whether against Australia or Zimbabwe.

Another big plus, besides Dhoni, was the responsible, mature nature of Virat's hundred. Also Tendulkar who looked fluent, positive, even dominant. His return to form, after scratchy efforts against England, lend stability to India's batting and end speculation about his future, a subject that distracts the team.

Ashwin exploited the conditions to pick up 12, and the best comment about his bowling was he reminded himself that he is a cricketer not a carrom player.

Note: The author's views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of NDTV.

Topics : Cricket Australia India MS Dhoni Ravichandran Ashwin Australia in India 2013
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