India vs Australia 2017: Pune pitch bone dry, expected to assist spinners
India could go in with 3 spinners looking at the nature of the pitch.
What’s the story?
The much-anticipated series between India and Australia kicks off in Pune on February 23 and as usual, the pitch will be the cynosure of all eyes. As per initial reports, the 22-yard is ‘bone dry’ and is expected to assist spinners from Day 2. This prediction will not please the Australian cricket team, but it could well be music to the ears of Indian spinners and captain Virat Kohli.
“One day before the Test, this wicket looks incredibly dry. We have a few options and we will assess them in detail. There is no doubt it is going to be a difficult series, but I have confidence in the squad we have brought for this Indian tour,” said Smith while addressing the press.
India are in the midst of an extended purple patch as they have remained unbeaten for 19 Tests and would love to continue their dominance in this long home season. The pitch which could well offer assistance to the spinners provides them with a golden opportunity to go for the kill and set the ball rolling right from the first Test match.
However, it should be mentioned here that Kohli and his boys have been ruthless on true surfaces in the series against England and New Zealand and the balance of the Indian bowling attack is such that they do not need doctored pitches to taste success. Hence, the nature of the pitch should worry the touring Australian side as the Indian spinners would have a field day of the pitch offers them considerable assistance from the get go.
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Australia’s record in the sub-continent have been abysmal in the recent past. They lost the 3-match series against Sri Lanka where they were whitewashed on turning pitches in Sri Lanka. Compare this to the Indian record where they have steamrolled all opponents and thus the series seems like a steep mountain for the visitors to climb.
The Border-Gavaskar series lies with Australia as they beat India in their last encounter down under and thus the Indian team would be keen to wrest this trophy back from them.
Both teams would take a look at the combination of their teams after taking a look at the pitch on the morning of the match. India would ideally look to go for 3 spinners and hence Jayant Yadav could be drafted in and would join R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia on the other hand too would be tempted to include a second specialist spinner and Nathan Lyon could be accompanied with either Stephen O’Keefe or Mitchell Swepson. They could also play Glenn Maxwell who could be the third spinner in the team.
Virat Kohli has spoken a lot of the team’s character after the series win against England when the hosts bounced back after having lost a number of tosses. Hence, on this pitch which could offer considerable to the spinners, toss becomes a critical aspect once again.
However, the hosts would be confident to put up a good show irrespective of the toss result as they are riding on a wave of momentum after their sterling record in the recent past.