India's loss to Australia on a turning Indore track led to skipper Rohit Sharma expressing his frustration with the constant discussion about the country's pitches. Rohit highlighted the first Test between South Africa and the West Indies, which ended in three days on a fast Centurion surface, and said that batting-friendly tracks, like the ones in Pakistan’s home Test series, produced "boring" contests. He defended the use of pitches that help bowlers, stating that players need to test their skills and games do not necessarily have to last five days.
Rohit also suggested that the constant focus on pitches took away from the achievements of the bowlers. Nathan Lyon returned match figures of 11-99, with his eight wickets in India's second innings setting up Australia's victory. The win was only Australia's second in Tests in India since 2004, and Steve Smith, the stand-in skipper, said he enjoyed the spin challenge.
"I prefer this more than just a genuine flat wicket that goes five days and can be boring in stages. There's always something happening on these wickets -- you've got to really work hard for your runs," Smith said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's recent home Test series against New Zealand ended in a draw as the pitches were widely criticised for being too batting-friendly. Rohit, however, referenced Pakistan's three Test matches played at home, which he claimed were viewed as boring by some due to the lack of challenge.
The conversation around pitches in cricket has been long-standing. Some purists believe that pitches should help bowlers, creating more interesting games and challenging players to improve their skills. Others argue that a pitch that's too difficult for batting can spoil the game by making it too one-sided. Ultimately, pitches will continue to be a point of discussion in cricket, but it's clear that for Rohit Sharma, the focus should be on skillful performances and an exciting game, regardless of pitch conditions.
The final Test of the series between India and Australia will take place on Thursday in Ahmedabad, and it remains to be seen what kind of pitch will be provided. Regardless of the conditions, both teams will be looking to perform at their best and secure a victory.