vikram rathour sportstiger

The third Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 got underway at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Wednesday (1 March). India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. However, his decision seemed to backfire long time as Indian batters looked on all fours against the Australian spin trio of Matthew Kuhnemann, Nathan Lyon, and Todd Murphy. 

India lost their first wicket in the form of Rohit who made a desperate effort to counterpunch by stepping out against Kuhnemann. It was followed by a flurry of wickets as India lost five of their batters for 45 runs. Although Virat Kohli held the fort for a while, it was not enough and the hosts eventually got bowled out for 109. While there were a few dismissals where the batter or the bowler was responsible, most of them were possible because of the venom in the pitch. 

The Indore pitch behaved like it was the fourth or fifth day of a Test match. This strange behaviour of the wicket led to severe criticism of the curators. However, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour refused to hold the curators responsible for this minefield sort of a wicket. Instead, Rathour blamed it on the late announcement in the venue change by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). 

"We prefer playing in turning tracks, it is our strength. This is a one-off wicket. The two wickets in earlier Tests were not bad, we preferred them. Today, it was drier than expected. Perhaps, curators did not get time to prepare the wicket as the shift of venue of match from Dharamshala to here was announced late," said Rathour at the post-day presser. 

“I don’t think we played poorly”

The India batting coach also defended the flurry of dismissals during India’s innings saying the batsmen did not play poor cricket. 

"The wicket was definitely challenging. It turned way more than we expected and the turn was sharper due to moisture. We definitely could have scored more, but I do not think we played poorly or rashly. It was just an off-day for us as a batting unit," said Rathour.