Pink Ball Test: Motera Pitch Comes Under Scrutiny Again As Spinners Make Hay
The pitch for the third Test here at the colossal and grand Motera stadium looked more like a construction site with puffs of dust rising, and the surface crumbling at both batting ends, even though the five-day pink ball Test was barely into its second day.
The ground-staff was summoned onto the pitch in only the fifth over of the second day's play and again later to sweep the dust created around the bowlers' footholds.
The surface had also required regular sweeping on the first day. At one end, the Reliance End, the footholds weren't firm creating trouble for fast bowlers' landing even in the first session of the first day, forcing Axar Patel to be pressed into the attack early on.
This isn't the first time pitches have behaved in such a way in India's home Tests. In November 2004 in Mumbai, a Rahul Dravid-led India had succumbed to Michael Clarke's left-arm spin. Clarke took six wickets as India were bowled out for 205 to give Australia a target of 107 in fourth innings. India, though won the Test on the back of Harbhajan Singh's five-wicket haul as the Aussies were bowled out for 93.