Spinners to be at the forefront in Mohali


With the BCCI complying with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s demand for rank turners, the Australian outfit has been all at sea in the first two Test matches of the series — in Chennai and Hyderabad.

But going into the third Test in Mohali, a venue known to have had the fastest wickets in the country in the past, the Australians were hoping that they would finally get a breather and some help from the wicket.

But all the hope has been dashed by BCCI’s head of Grounds and Pitch committee Daljit Singh, who is also the curator at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. In charge of preparing the wicket for the Test match, while Daljit hasn’t gone ahead and prepared a rank turner, the wicket will still assist the spinners and any help that the pacers get will be restricted only to the morning session of each day.

“It is March and summer has set in. So you can very well understand how the wicket will play. There is no mystery to it,” Daljit told Mail Today, clearly hinting that the pacer- friendly wickets of Mohali is a thing of the past, especially with Dhoni’s demand for rank turners.

Even Australia coach Mickey Arthur echoed Daljit’s sentiments saying the wicket looked pretty dry.

“I had come to Mohali really excited as the last time when I was here — as the coach of the South Africa team to play Pakistan in the Champions Trophy – the ball was moving all over the place and the fast bowlers utilised the conditions to their advantage. But no sooner did I see the wicket that I realised that this might not turn as much as the wickets in the first two Tests did, but it won’t assist pacers much,” he said.

But Arthur believes that he and his team are okay with the conditions on offer.

“I think it is fair for the home team to have the advantage. I would have been really disappointed to come to India and not have my players face Indian spinners on spinning tracks. At the end of the day this is a lesson in itself and helps players evolve.

“Looking at world cricket at the moment, I feel it has come to a situation where the number one team is that which wins consistently away from home and that’s because many of the top teams have been doing well at home. But what separates them from the real champions is that they aren’t winning abroad,” he said.

While the coach seems okay with the wickets being dished out in India, it would be interesting to see what the players feel deep within.