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Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Simon O’Donnell asks for ICC intervention over Nagpur pitch

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Former Australia cricketer Simon O’Donnell has asked for an intervention from the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the preparation of the Nagpur pitch for the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy match starting from Thursday.

At the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, pictures emerged on Tuesday that the entire pitch was first watered. Then only the centre of the pitch was rolled over, and extra watering done only outside the left-hander’s leg stump.

Many have suggested that the pitch preparation tactic is done due to Australia potentially fielding five left-handed batters in David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Matt Renshaw and Alex Carey and India countering them with spin of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and either of Kuldeep Yadav or Axar Patel.

“The ICC should step in and do something about it, if they think it’s not right. If they think the pitch is not right, there’ll be an ICC referee at the game and the ICC will be watching this game.”

“But there’s so many when it comes to India, we have all of these discussions, and nothing seems to happen. If they really think there’s a pitch here that doesn’t play to the normal standards of Test cricket and the characteristics of this ground, then the ICC need to do something,” said O’Donnell on SEN Breakfast show.

Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie told SEN WA Breakfast show that India are getting to shape the pitch as per their home advantage. “I think the Indian curators are looking at a way for India to have an advantage.”

“They potentially think spin will play a huge role and that for the best chance to beat Australia will be to play to their strength. Here in Australia, curators are under instructions to produce the best possible pitch they can prepare, that’s Australia wide.”

After playing the first Test at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, India and Australia will play the next three Tests in New Delhi (February 17-21), Dharamshala (March 1-5) and Ahmedabad (March 9-13).

India are the current holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having won the last three series against Australia in 2017, 2018-19 and 2020-21, while Australia last won a Test series in India in 2004.