India is set to host Australia for the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, starting on March 1. With a dominating 2-0 lead in the four-match series, the hosts are the favourites going into the Indore Test.
The Holkar Stadium has hosted two Tests before this, both of which were won by the Indian team. The last Test held at the venue was in December 2019 between India and Bangladesh, while the last international match was against New Zealand in the recently concluded limited-overs series.
The Indore pitch has provided a balanced surface in past red-ball matches, and the latest picture shows that it looks neutral for the upcoming Test. The pitch has a small amount of grass in the middle with almost no visible cracks. Batters are likely to do well if the grass cover remains. So far, spinners have dominated the series, and big scores have been missing.
Bowlers, especially spinners, pulled off impressive spells in the Nagpur and Delhi Tests, leading many to highlight the pitch conditions. Pitch conditions have always been a significant talking point in Border-Gavaskar Trophy history, and the ongoing series is no different.
The former Australian great Ian Healy called the Nagpur pitch “pathetic” and asked the ICC to intervene. The Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bagged a combined 15 wickets in the Nagpur Test and 16 in the Delhi Test. However, the Indian batters managed to perform comparatively well, proving to be a significant difference in the first two matches.
Several former Indian cricketers, including Sunil Gavaskar, Harbhajan Singh, and Ravi Shastri, have defended the Indian pitches and dismissed claims of doctored pitches. However, after an inspection, match referee Andy Pycroft rated the Nagpur and Delhi pitches as average in the ICC reports.
The pitch conditions for the upcoming Indore Test are expected to favour spinners, and former cricketers have already shared their thoughts on the matter. The cricketing world will be watching with bated breath to see which team comes out on top in what promises to be a thrilling match.