'Average': ICC announces ratings for Nagpur, Delhi pitches used for India-Australia Test matches

Prior to the series, there was a lot of discussion about the quality of the playing surfaces. The Nagpur pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium was scrutinized closely by the Australian team, with star batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith seen observing the surface and testing its hardness. Photos also emerged of selective watering to ensure that areas outside off stump.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given an "average" rating to the pitches used in Nagpur and Delhi for the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia. 

Prior to the series, there was a lot of discussion about the quality of the playing surfaces. The Nagpur pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium was scrutinized closely by the Australian team, with star batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith seen observing the surface and testing its hardness. Photos also emerged of "selective watering" to ensure that areas outside off stump of left-handers were left dry for spinners.

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Despite the concerns, the Nagpur pitch was rated "average" by ICC match referee, Zimbabwe's Andy Pycroft, and the surface for the second Test in Delhi was also rated "average." While not perfect, it was deemed to be fair.

The Indian spinners were able to make better use of the pitches, with the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja dominating the Australian batsmen. The matches ended in just three days, with Jadeja and Axar Patel proving to be difficult to dismiss for the Australians.

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However, Australia's high-performance chief, Ben Oliver, defended the team's truncated preparation for the Indian pitches, while his predecessor Pat Howard pointed out that a prolonged period of preparation is needed. In their last visit to India in 2017, Australia took a 1-0 lead but lost the series 2-1.

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The third Test between India and Australia will be played in Indore from March 1, followed by the final Test in Ahmedabad from March 9. The first ODI between the two teams will be held in Mumbai on March 17, with the remaining two games taking place in Vizag on March 19 and Chennai on March 22.

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