"Straight-Up Doctoring", Claim Aussie Experts On Nagpur Pitch, Ask For ICC's Intervention
Having had a good look at the pitch, Steve Smith had said on Tuesday: "It's pretty dry. Particularly one end. I think it will take a bit of spin, particularly the left-arm spinners spinning it back into our left-handers."
Every time a Test series is held in India, accusations of the hosts preparing a wicket that overwhelmingly suits them are made. With just a day to go before the Border-Gavaskar series between India and Australia begins in Nagpur, a few Aussie 'experts' have accused India of 'doctoring' the pitch to suit their team. A few pictures of the pitch surfaced on social media on Tuesday, with Steve Smith suggesting that the wicket was 'pretty dry'. The Australian batter also went into details, suggesting left-arm spinners are likely to extract extensive help. Back in Australia, some of the former cricketers and experts have called for the International Cricket Council's intervention on the matter.
As per a report in Fox Cricket, reporters on the ground claimed that only the center of the Nagpur wicket was watered and rolled, whereas the exact area which will be targeted by left-handers was left dry.
Such a step was reportedly taken at both ends of the wicket, with accusations of there being an attempt to make things difficult for left-handers, like David Warner, Usman Khawaja, and Travis Head.
One of the cricket writers in Australia went on to label India's preparation as 'pitch doctoring'.
"The classic saying about pitches is, 'Oh, it's the same for everyone'," Robert Craddock said on SEN. "When the Gabba pitch had too much grass left on it, people were saying, 'Yes, it was not a great wicket, but it was the same everyone'.
"But you can't say that about this pitch. Australia has six left-handers in their top eight, so if you start multi-preparing parts of the deck that's straight-up pitch doctoring, it's poor.
"Ninety percent of me feels frustrated about it, but the other 10 percent is it's a narrative for the series, it's just building up beautifully, isn't it?
"It's a bit of old-fashioned hijinks. Test cricket needs these plots and the drama side of me enjoys it," he said.
The Nagpur pitch could prove testy for the Aussie left-handers....#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/fbmN0nFsbX— SEN Cricket (@SEN_Cricket) February 8, 2023
Former Australia all-rounder Simon O'Donnell said that the ICC should step in and look into the matter if they feel something isn't right.
"The ICC should step in and do something about it, if they think it's not right," he said.
"If they think the pitch is not right, there'll be an ICC referee at the game and the ICC will be watching this game. But there's so many when it comes to India, we have all of these discussions, and nothing seems to happen.
"If they really think there's a pitch here that doesn't play to the normal standards of test cricket and the characteristics of this ground, then the ICC need to do something," he added.
With the pitch being a dry, spinners will understandably get plenty of help from the surface. The Indian team, hence is reportedly planning to play three spinners in the playing XI.