India defeated Australia in the first Test match in Nagpur© AFP
Former Australian cricket team skipper Ian Chappell was extremely critical of Pat Cummins and Co after a disappointing loss against India in the first Test match in Nagpur on Saturday. Chappell said that Australia needed to stop paying attention to all the controversy surrounding the pitch in Nagpur and concentrate more on their game plan. There were multiple reports claiming “pitch doctoring’ by the Indian cricket team and some ex-Australia players also lent support to the accusations. However, the visitors were completely outplayed and they slumped to a massive loss within only three days.
“The media making allegations about pitch-doctoring is nothing new. Players need to ignore this little game or else it has a debilitating effect on the visiting team. Far too much emphasis is put on how pitches are going to play and on doctoring. It’s worth remembering that both teams have to play on the same pitch,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo after the encounter.
“The first Test has exposed Australia’s weakness against good spin bowling on turning pitches. If they can ensure this setback doesn’t mean their mental capacity to cope in India is not dented, it will keep them in the series. If they waver, they are in big trouble,” he added.
Rohit Sharma was the pick of the batsmen as he slammed a brilliant century and Chappell cited his example to say that the pitch did not bother batsmen who had confidence in their defence.
“The state of the pitch was put into perspective by the Indian captain Rohit Sharma. He played a masterful innings that displayed confidence in his own defence, his wide stroke range on a turning – but not impossible pitch – and his ironclad discipline,”
“Rohit’s confidence in his defence was crucial. If a player doesn’t trust his defence on Indian pitches he can easily be panicked into trying to do something that he’s not capable of, and this ends up in an embarrassing dismissal,” he wrote in the column.
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