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‘How long will they keep it in oven?’: Shastri's unusual pitch prediction for India vs Australia 4th Test in Ahmedabad

Mar 07, 2023 11:59 AM IST

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri agreed with captain Rohit Sharma that the Ahmedabad pitch for the fourth Test against Australia will turn but "how quickly?" he asked.

What will the 22 yards at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad be like for the India vs Australia fourth and final Test starting Thursday? Will the curators risk preparing another rank turner after the backlash - it got a poor rating from ICC - the Indore pitch got? Will the Indian team management take a backward step from their stance of preparing pitches that offer turn from Day 1 after it backfired in the third Test? Do India trust their spinners to prize out the Australian wickets on a less-conducive pitch? The questions are plenty before the series decider.

Indore: Indian captain Rohit Sharma with teammate Virat Kohli during the third day of the 3rd test cricket match between India and Australia, at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Friday, March 3, 2023. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)(PTI03_03_2023_000068A)(PTI)

India captain Rohit Sharma has expressed his displeasure about the talk surrounding the pitch in the series. He also made it clear that India will play to their strength and prepare pitches that will assist the spinners even after a nine-wicket loss in the third Test and a poor rating of the pitch from the ICC.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri also agreed that the Ahmedabad pitch will turn but "how quickly?" he asked.

"It will turn but the question is, how quickly? How long will they keep it in the oven? They kept it a bit long for this time," said Shastri on Star Sports referring to the Indore pitch that offered more than six degrees of turn as early as the sixth over of Day 1.

"It will be really nice to see a pitch that allows both of these great batting units to showcase their skills and abilities," said former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, who has been very critical of the pitch used in Indore.

"True. I think a lot of spectators around the world would want that. Batters of both teams would want that," Shastri agreed.

As far as the pitch preparations in Gujarat are concerned, the local association has not received any specific instructions from the Indian team management.

"We haven't received any instructions from the Indian team management and our local curators are preparing a normal track as we have always done through the season," a state association source told PTI on Saturday.

"In fact, in the last Ranji game over here in January, Railways scored 500 plus (508) batting first and Gujarat, although suffering an innings defeat, scored 200 plus in both innings. It won't be too different this time," he said.

"Obviously, in the last few days the BCCI's grounds and pitches committee instructed the local curator. But, certainly, from our end our endeavour is to produce a good Test match pitch," the official said.

The last time two Test matches were held in Ahmedabad, they ended in just under two days.

"You have to factor in that the Day/Night Test and the one after that were the first ones held after the stadium was refurbished and you had no clue how the pitch will pan out," he added.

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