The surface for the fourth and final Test match between Australia and India in Ahmedabad will be a little bit different from the first three pitches, according to Australia’s acting captain Steve Smith, who also said that there may be potential for higher totals on this wicket. On Thursday in Ahmedabad, the fourth Test match between India and Australia will get off. The hosts hope to advance to the ICC World Test Championship final with a victory.
Australia, who currently trails India 2-1, shown lots of heart by defeating their opponents by a wide margin of nine wickets in Indore to win their first Test match on Indian soil since 2017.
“This wicket may be a little bit different. I just had a look at it then. Perhaps it may not spin as much from the first ball or the first day but I do think it will spin as the game goes on. So yeah, there might be opportunities for bigger totals on this wicket,” Smith said in a pre-match press conference in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Smith thinks that the fourth Test pitch may have been the day’s flattest surface, as opposed to the first three, where the ball spun immediately.
“Looks like probably of the four wickets we’ve seen so far, potentially the flattest on day one,” Smith added.
The stand-in captain expects that as the game goes on, the dry heat will cause the pitch to break, giving the player a turn.
“Having said that, it’s I think 38 degrees out there at the moment, it’s pretty hot. Looks like it’ll dry out as the day goes on. One of the groundsmen said they might be watering it again today. So yeah, we’ll wait and see but in terms of the day before, it certainly looks like it’s likely to do less on day one than we’ve seen so far,” Smith added.
“It’s just playing what’s in front of us really, obviously the scores haven’t been big throughout this whole series. India scored 400 In that first Test match and Rohit got 100 and 400 proved to be way too many,” Smith opined.
“We can only play what’s in front of us and it’s been those types of wickets where if you get up over 200 even it’s been a decent total. We’re not fussed or anything, we’ve never complained or anything about the wickets, we go out and play,” he said.
Smith was unable to think of another situation in which he was unsure of the playing surface. Australia misled the field over which of the two pitches would be used for the final Test, which led to the problem that surfaced on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.
“There might have been a couple of [pitches] prepared maybe a bit longer out than two days but I can’t remember two days,” Smith said.
“I didn’t go out and have a look in the afternoon but Alex Carey did. It looked completely different, a lot drier in the afternoon. It’s very hot here, 37 degrees, which gives it a chance to dry out and I think that the cover was on for a bit today. So they’re potentially worried that it’s drying out too much. It certainly changed in a few hours. Having a look today we’ll be able to potentially see what it’s going to do,” the 33-year-old added.
Given that three of the four three-day Tests have already been played and the fourth is almost finished, this series is on pace to have required the fewest balls to be bowled in a four-match series. But, Smith countered that the groundskeeper had stated that this game would last longer than the others.
Smith took use of the opportunity to make a brief jab at certain pundits who had said that Australia should have kept three quick bowlers and one spinner on the team in order to play to their fast-bowling strengths. On very diverse surfaces, that model was what helped the 2004 series win.
“It’s been weird with a bit of the commentary back home, people talking about us playing three quicks and one spinner. It’s kind of mind-boggling to me when we look at these surfaces and we see what we’ve had, 11 innings in six days or something like that, and spinners have taken the bulk of the wickets and you see how difficult it is to play spin,” Smith said.
“It’s kind of odd to hear that kind of commentary, but we’ve had faith in what we’re trying to do and it’s good that we are able to show that we can play with three spinners and win. We weren’t too far away in Delhi either, outside of that hour of madness. Nice to know our plans and everything we are trying to do can work,” said Australia’s stand-in captain.
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