Rohit Sharma defends the Indore pitch at the press conference for India vs. Australia

Rohit Sharma, the captain of India, jumped to the defence of the criticised pitches that have been set up in his nation thus far during the Test series against Australia.

Given that all three of the games played thus far have ended within three days, the playing conditions have come under intense criticism. Then in the third Test, when the ICC rated the Indore pitch as “bad,” things finally came to a head.

Referee Chris Broad was forthright in his evaluation of the wicket used in the match, which Australia won by a margin of nine wickets.

“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start,” Broad said in his report.

“The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match.”

Even the legendary spinner from India, Harbhajan Singh, lamented the Indore pitch’s condition and the inability of the bowlers to get wickets.

“You might be (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Jacques) Kallis, Brian Lara or Virat Kohli, even an unknown bowler will dismiss you on this pitch if you play six balls continuously,” Harbhajan told Star Sports.

India’s Rohit Sharma, widely regarded as the best batsmen against spinner in the world, was duped by Nathan Lyon and colleagues on a track that was shifting sideways.

Rohit, however, wasn’t having it, claiming that the criticism of the playing environment in India had gone too far.

“This pitch talk is getting too much. Every time you play in India there’s only focus on the pitch,” he said.

As an example, Rohit cited the first Test between South Africa and the West Indies on Thursday, which was completed in three days on a fast Centurion pitch. He claimed that batting-friendly surfaces led to “boring” matches.

“Why are people not asking me about Nathan Lyon and how well he bowled? How well (Cheteshwar) Pujara batted? How well Usman Khawaja played?” Rohit asked.

“We focus too much on the pitch here in India and I don’t feel it’s necessary.

“Former cricketers, I don’t think they played on pitches like this. These are the kinds of pitches we want to play on, this is our strength.

“When you’re playing at your home, always play to your strength. Not worry about what people outside are talking about. Our strength is spin bowling and batting depth.

“Everyone uses that advantage as home side, so what’s wrong with that?

“We’ve got to do that as well. Especially when we are getting results. If we were not getting the results, I would think otherwise. But we are playing well, getting the results we want.”

Sunil Gavaskar, a renowned cricketer, criticised the ICC’s decision to impose three demerit points on the Indore surface, thus Sharma did find one supporter.

“One thing I would like to know, there was this Test match in November in Brisbane (at the) Gabba, where the match finished in two days. How many demerit points did that pitch get?” Gavaskar told India Today.

Stand-in Aussie skipper Steve Smith said he had enjoyed the spin challenge.

“I prefer this more than just a genuine flat wicket that goes five days and can be boring in stages,” he said.

“There’s always something happening on these wickets — you’ve got to really work hard for your runs.”

India enters the fourth and final Test at Ahmedabad on Thursday with a commanding 2-1 lead and has won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy four straight times.

They must win the fourth Test, though, in order to guarantee their place in the World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval in June.

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