5 Recent Indian Pitches that took Early Spin


Modified Feb 21, 2021 12:49 PM IST

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Throughout India’s victory in the second Test at Chennai, many former players questioned the pitch quality.

In the past, oppositions have encountered turning surfaces in India on numerous occasions.

The move to churn out turning tracks has backfired as well in the past, with the toss playing a crucial role and the opposition spinners coming well prepared.

Let us now look back at pitches that took an early spin in the past and how they impacted the Test.

Mumbai 2012, India Vs. England

Kevin Pietersen, and Alastair Cook countered a turning pitch to level the series against India

After winning the first Test in Ahmedabad, India met with a slow pitch in Mumbai.

The Mumbai surface has always been unique with its red soil, and after the first look at the pitch, it was clear that spin was the way in the Test.

Both sides went with three spinners, and India got an early advantage with the toss.

Batting first, the home side made 327, with Cheteshwar Pujara making a century and Ashwin making 68.

Monty Panesar took five wickets, while Graeme Swann finished with four.

With the pitch crumbling, the task looked tough for England, who responded beautifully.

They made 413, with Alastair Cook making a century and Kevin Pietersen making 186.

The two ensured England got a healthy lead and bowled the Indians out quickly to set up a comfortable chase in the final innings.

England won by ten wickets, and the win has been rated as one of their bests in Asia.

They conquered a track in which 29 of the thirty wickets to fall went to the spinners.

Nagpur 2015, India Vs. South Africa

Following a defeat in the two limited-overs series, India ensured they had the advantages in the Tests.

The first Test in Mohali had a rank turner, and the Test lasted only three days.

Come to Nagpur; the surface was dry, rough, and even more troublesome.

The highest score across all four innings was made by Murali Vijay, while spin took 34 of the forty wickets to fall.

India batted first and managed 215, following which South Africa could only make 79.

The South Africans struggled to score runs on the surface but still managed to put up a decent fight, with Faf Du Plessis and Hashim Amla putting up a gritty partnership of 72 in the final innings.

The pitch was given a low rating for its turn and uneven bounce.

Pune 2017, India Vs. Australia 

India enjoyed an unbeaten home season, beating New Zealand, England, and Bangladesh comfortably.

Australia was due to visit, and the Australians had a challenging period leading up to the tournament.

They were whitewashed in Sri Lanka and lost at home to South Africa.

With issues against spin, the Australians took time to prepare in Dubai and designed the series well.

With Australia’s weakness against spin well known, a dry surface was prepared for the Test.

The dryness was evident with footmarks forming as early as the first over of the Test.

Deliveries were exploding early, and each delivery met with a puff of dust.

Australia had the advantage of batting first and wholly shocked the Indians.

They enjoyed a good first inning, and their spinners were unplayable.

Steve Smith made a superb second-innings century, and India could only manage 105 and 107 in their two innings.

The Test ended in three days, giving Australia a 333-run win and ensuring that India’s dominating strategy with spin backfired.

India’s first loss in the season and a loss set up a magnificent series.

The Test was given a low rating for its loose soil and deliveries exploding off the surface.

Bangalore 2017, India Vs. Australia

After India’s shocking defeat in Pune, the Bangalore pitch was stated to ensure five days of Cricket.

The Bangalore ground, however, was recently renovated, with a new drainage system in place.

The new drainage system played a part in the surface, which became drier as the game went on.

India batted first and could only manage 189, following which Australia made 276.

Nathan Lyon found a rough patch and took eight wickets in the first innings.

From the second day onwards, the pitch started to keep low, and there were many shooters.

The bounce kept getting lower and lower.

India put up a better performance in the second innings and gave Australia a target of 188.

On a dry fourth innings pitch, the target proved to be too high, as Australia was all-out for 112.

The pitch got a below-average rating, but the series got spicier as India fought back and won a Test match full of twists.

Kanpur 2008, India Vs. South Africa


India was down 1-0 as the series headed to Kanpur for the final Test.

The Kanpur pitch was a dry surface and helped India win the match within three days.

Batting second, India restricted South Africa to 265 and put up a reasonable batting effort to get 325.

The Indian bowlers wrapped up the third innings with ease, with India ahead, dismissing South Africa for 121, allowing an easy chase.

The pitch was criticized for not being at Test match quality.

In the end, the surface was given a low rating for its excessive turn and bounce.