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Former Australian captain wants India to prepare sporting wickets, unlike the one in Pune

Kim Hughes believes that while sporting pitches were prepared for England, the first Test in Pune didn't see a very fair one

Kim Hughes
Kim Hughes was Australia’s skipper in the 80s, most famously during ‘Botham’s Ashes’

What’s the story?

Former Australian skipper Kim Hughes has spoken about the factors that determined the match after Australia took a 1 – 0 lead in the 4-match Test series against India. The visitors surprised the hosts by playing an inspired brand of cricket to record its first win on Indian soil in 13 long years.

Speaking to the Times of India, he said, “The wicket (in Pune) was a shocker. If you see, pitches against England were good cricket wickets, but if you try to doctor the tracks, it can bite you on your bum. I am sure the one in Bengaluru will be a sporting one."

The context 

While the wicket in Pune was expected to spin a fair bit, the amount of spin that was produced as soon as day one was simply startling. Normally one would expect such a track to give the Indians an edge, but the Aussies used it to their advantage as left-arm orthodox spinner Steve O’ Keefe took a career-best 12 wickets to absolutely rattle India.

The details 

Ever since the debacle of India’s home series against South Africa at the end of 2015, where tracks were prepared that produced incredible amounts of spin and made it very difficult for the visitors to score, there’s been a lot of focus on the pitches prepared in India.

Before embarking upon a long home season, many fans expected similar pitches to give the hosts the maximum advantage. However, in the series’ against New Zealand, England and Bangladesh, fans were glad to see fair and sporting wickets that gave both teams an equal chance of victory.

The result was some outstanding cricket and the Indian team displayed a new brand of aggression on their way to a long unbeaten streak. 

For Australia’s first Test in Pune, the pitch was an absolute shocker. The visitors managed to turn that to their advantage and outperform the hosts on conditions that were supposed to suit them.

Kim Hughes also spoke about other factors that contributed to Australia’s victory, mainly focussing on India’s poor fielding and the poor use of DRS.

Parallels from history

16-years-ago, the Australian team toured India for one of the most famous Test series of all time. Australia ran away as convincing winners in the first Test at Mumbai, but the Indian side bounced back to win the next two Tests. Virat Kohli will be hoping for a similar result this time around when the second Test gets underway in Bangalore.

Sportskeeda’s take

 India’s unbelievable unbeaten run had to come to an end. Under Virat Kohli’s leadership, the team went from strength to strength with no signs of slipping up, but the first Test against Australia proved to be a rude awakening call.

The Indian team has shown that they have the skill to produce good results in Test matches and we wouldn’t be surprised if they manage to win the second Test in Bangalore. 

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