Former pacer Michael Kasprowicz doesn’t understand why so much attention is being given to the pitches in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy as they are “typical” Indian wickets, on which, Australia need to “adapt and adjust”.
“I don’t believe the hype... I reckon because for all the attention around the pitches they were typically Indian wickets,” Kasprowicz, one of the architects of Australia’s first Test win in India in 29 years, told The Age.
“I realise this last one in Indore did a few tricks early on, but because they’re starting so early (9.30am), maybe that little bit of moisture helps grab the ball. But at other stages later in the day, it wasn’t doing anything like that.”
India had won the first two Tests in Nagpur and New Delhi where the pitches got “average” rating by the ICC. The pitch in Indore was rated “poor” as Australia won the game by nine wickets.
Most of the experts, including former captain Mark Taylor and Mark Waugh, too have been critical of the pitches, especially the Indore track.
“When I say don’t believe the hype, I know the odd ball was turning square, and it got a poor rating,” said Kasprowicz, who was part of the Australia team which won their only series in India back in 2004.
“But I remember turning up to the Bangalore Test in 1998, and I’ve got a picture of me standing on the wicket. It honestly looks like a dry creek bed. There’s no grass, but it’s got these cracks and spider cracks all down the whole face of it.
“And you just go well, like that’s what we’re gonna play on. And guess what? We’ve got to adapt and adjust. That’s the game of Test cricket.”
Taylor scored an unbeaten century in Bangalore in 1998 to ensure Australia’s first Test win in India since 1969. He later said “at least we’ve won one,” helping to change the attitude around touring India.
This time after losing the opening Test in Nagpur, Australia dominated the first two days in Delhi before collapsing to 113 in their second innings to lose by six wickets.
“Obviously, after the Delhi experience of that second innings, the Australians adapted to the conditions and did really well. And so come the second innings they were 1/76 and got through (to victory),” Kasprowicz said.
“(Travis) Head and Marnus (Labuschagne) batted really well. They found a way, and that’s what Australia’s been known to do over all these years.”
Written with PTI inputs