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Australia vs India: Mohali track altered to favour hosts, says report

March 27, 2016

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Indian captain MS Dhoni watches his teammates train during a practice session. — AP
Indian captain MS Dhoni watches his teammates train during a practice session. — AP

The Indian cricket board won't leave anything to chance when it comes to controlling ‘cricketing elements’ so the host team qualifies for the World T20 semi-finals, a Hindustan Times report said on Sunday, after Indian team management requested changing the Mohali track into a turner.

India and Australia are set to face each other in a virtual quarter-final today at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.

"The game was scheduled to be played on a pitch which would have played similar to the one that was used for the Pakistan-Australia match," a source close to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times report.

"But India weren’t happy and have now requested a change. Now, the pitch that they have chosen will assist spin and maybe inconsistent bounce."

Like the one in Nagpur, the track is expected to benefit spinners.

The World T20 Super 10 opener between India and New Zealand was being touted as a run-fest. But as the track was changed into one which had more grip and break in it made it all a low-score affair.

The Nagpur track, too, was changed at the behest of the Indian team management, the Hindustan Times said.

However, it backfired for the hosts who failed to tackle Mitchell Santner’s and Ish Sodhi’s sharply turning deliveries and fell out for just 79 runs in pursuit of 47 more.

"You have seen what happened during last year’s Test against South Africa. [Mohali] is known for its quick wicket," said a PCA official, who was contacted by the Hindustan Times after the ground curator and the BCCI pitch committee chairman Daljit Singh refused to comment.

The PCA official added that the same pitch will host the women’s match between India and West Indies before the knockout men’s game. "There will definitely be some wear and tear. The pitch is likely to slow down in the evening."