Australia vs India, fourth Test: Pitch mindgames reach new heights, photos, news

India have taken the mindgames to all new heights ahead of the fourth and final Test against Australia.

Pitch talk has dominated headlines throughout the series and it appears the home nation aren’t going to let it go ahead of Test in Ahmedabad, starting on Thursday (AEDT).

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The pitch for the third Test in Indore fell apart in ugly fashion, with the ICC slapping it with a poor rating.

From early looks however it’s impossible to know what the pitch is going to look like for the final contest with the series currently sitting in India’s favour at 2-1.

Curator’s are keeping the Aussies on their toes by maintaining and working on multiple pitches in the middle of the ground.

The tactic means the actual playing pitch might not be revealed until Thursday morning, giving the Aussies little to no time to plan for what may unfold.

News Corps’ Peter Lalor wrote: “Genuine confusion in Australian camp over which pitch is being prepared at Narendra Modi Stadium.”

SEN commentator Adam Collins tweeted a photo of two pitches being prepared with the caption: “Keeping one’s options open.”

As the pitch drama again hangs overhead, Australia will once more be led by Steve Smith as Pat Cummins remains in Australia by his mother’s side.

Smith led Australia to a stunning third Test victory in a contest that finished 90 minutes into the third day.

The ugly sight of the pitch saw the ICC slap the venue with three demerit points. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma fumed in the wake of the controversial Test and all the talk surrounding the pitches being prepared.

“This pitch talk is getting too much. Every time we play in India it’s always about the pitch,” Rohit told reporters.

“It’s about skills,” Rohit said.

“Why are we not talking about Nathan Lyon — how well he bowled?

“How well (Cheteshwar) Pujara batted in the second innings, how well Usman Khawaja played?”

Despite wickets falling rapidly Rohit said that “out of the 10 wickets maybe one or two where the pitch did help the bowler, but other than that it was the skill of the bowler that foxed the batsman”.

The ICC had other views, later giving the pitch a “poor” rating while handing down three demerit points.

“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start,” match referee Chris Broad said in his report.

“The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match.”

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