The pitch in Indore came in for heavy criticism after India were bowled out for 109 in less than three hours on the opening day of the third Test.
After Australia lost 10 wickets in a single session in the opening Test in Nagpur and nine before lunch in their calamitous collapse in Delhi, it was India’s turn to implode.
The hosts lost seven wickets in the morning session with Matt Kuhnemann claiming four of his five scalps, while Todd Murphy dismissed Virat Kohli and Nathan Lyon took three wickets.
The signs were ominous from the beginning, with a delivery in Mitchell Starc’s first over kicking up a huge puff of dust that belied the devils in the surface.
With cracks visible even before the start of play, Australia turned to spin just six overs in and were immediately rewarded. Some deliveries spun wildly, others kept incredibly low and others still simply exploded off the surface.
India collapsed to 109 all out on day one of the third Test in Indore on a very difficult deck
Mark Waugh (left) and Matthew Hayden slammed the state of the pitch in Indore
Speaking on Fox Cricket, Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh were scathing in their criticism of the surface.
‘The pitch is probably not up to Test standard, I think it’s fair to say that,’ Waugh said.
‘That’s not good enough. You need luck, no matter how good a player of spin you are.’
Lyon’s dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara was particularly baffling, as the ball pitched very wide of off stump, before turning back sharply and keeping low to detonate the Indian star’s stumps.
Shubman Gil and Kohli were the only two Indian batters to score at least 20 runs, as Australian spinners dominated proceedings.
Hayden, however, argued their success was detrimental to Test cricket as a spectacle.
‘This is why I’ve got a problem with these conditions,’ the former opening batter, Hayden, who averaged 51.35 in India in his career, said.
‘There’s no way in the world that a spin bowler should come on in the sixth over, no way.
Nathan Lyon (middle) took three wickets as Australian spinners ran riot in Indore
Lyon’s dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara was arguably the most baffling of the day, with the ball pitching wide of off stump, before turning sharply to detonate the furniture
‘You’ve got to give the batters a chance, you’re judging their performances in Test match cricket.
‘It shouldn’t be keeping low and turning a mile on day one.’
The third Test was initially scheduled to be played in Dharamshala, but concerns over the surface forced the BCCI to move it to Indore two weeks ago.
Australia, however, made the pitch look far easier to bat on as Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja put together a 59-run partnership to take the tourists to 1-71 at tea.