Much of the debate after India loss in the first Test against Australia is about the Pune pitch which has been reported as “poor” by the match referee. But former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist believes India doesn’t need rank-turners to win matches in India.
In the Pune Test, India suffered a loss by 333 runs and the match was over inside three days with Australia bowling out India for 105 and 107 in the two innings.
“The Indian team and management need to decide what kind of pitch they should play on. The Chinnaswamy Stadium, we all know, can produce a beautiful cricket pitch – one that can reward the batsmen and bowlers alike. They can go for a conventional pitch which plays well early on and then deteriorates later or prefer the one like in Pune which was substandard. They can do that but they probably run the risk of losing another toss. If they win the toss, India will logically dominate the Test match and if they lose the toss, they could find themselves in trouble. And that would be risky when you are down in the series. But India has a the team that is capable of playing high quality cricket and get result on much better wickets than what we have seen. They don‘t need traditional India cricket pitches,” he told Mumbai Mirror in an interview.
After winning the toss in Pune, Australia elected to bat and scored 260 runs in the first innings and 286 runs in the second innings. They took a 155-run first inning lead. They later set India a 441-run target. Gilchrist said the win was “unexpected” as many had written Australia off.
“I did think it was possible but looking at the two teams prior to the Test, it was unexpected, and certainly not in three days. My thoughts were that Renshaw (Matt) and Handscomb (Peter) did not have any previous experience but they prepared very well and had the best of the condition on a wicket which was not up to the standard. All in all, they did well to get that win and it is exciting for the rest of the series. India still play well in these conditions and they will be cursing. They will be ready to strike back,” he said.
While the former wicket-keeper hailed India’s Virat Kohli and R Ashwin, he said that the two cannot perform in every match and the pressure is on other to perform when these two players fail.
“Virat, as I have said, is undoubtedly the world class player, a proven performer. But he can’t do business every single time. So there is a challenge for the rest of the batting group to find a way to shine on the odd times when Virat has not. Ravi Ashwin’s record speaks for itself. But the Australian batsmen seem to have a plan for him. He has a challenge too,” he said.