India vs Australia 2023: Steve Smith Raises Doubts Over Nagpur Pitch, Says ‘Will be Hard for Left-Handers’
Former Australia captain Steve Smith felt that the pitch is dry and sports loose cracks just two days before the match, which will surely make both sides consider filling their playing XI with plenty of spin bowling options.
Top Australian batters Steve Smith and David Warner took a close look at the Nagpur pitch ahead of the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India, which will start from Thursday (February 9) onwards. The first Test between India and Australia will take place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, Nagpur.
Both Warner and Smith have contrasting records in India. Smith has an exceptional record in India. In six matches and 12 innings, he has scored 660 runs at an average of 60.00. Three centuries and a fifty have come out of his bat, with the best score of 178 not out. On the other hand, Warner will be looking forward to making his record against India in subcontinent conditions better.
In eight Tests and 16 innings, he has scored only 388 runs at an average of 24.25. Only three fifties have come out of his bat, with the best score of 71.
According to ‘Cricket dot com Australia’ website, the pitch is dry and sports loose cracks just two days before the match, which will surely make both sides consider filling their playing eleven with plenty of spin bowling options.
Describing the pitch, Smith was quoted as saying to reporters, “Pretty dry, particularly one end. I think it will take a bit of spin, particularly the left-arm spinner taking it into our left-handers. There is a section there that is quite dry,” Smith told the reporters in Nagpur on Tuesday (February 7).
Steve Smith thinks left-handers could have it particularly tough in Nagpur #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/EudwrlHIRu — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 7, 2023
“Other than that, I can not really get a good gauge on it. I do not think there will be a heap of bounce in the wicket, I think it will be quite skiddy for the seamers and maybe a bit of up-and-down movement as the game goes on. The cracks felt quite loose. I am not entirely sure - we will wait and see,” Smith added.
India can make good use of usual spin-friendly subcontinent conditions and their ammunition of world-class spinners like Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel to tame these two beasts throughout the series. Australia’s last tour of India was in 2017. India won that series 2-1.
India are the current holder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning the series in Australia in 2020-21.The series will consist of four Test matches. The series is a big one for both teams as they look to nail down a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
(with ANI inputs)