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Shock Aussie success leaves India’s pitch doctors guessing

Virtues of adaptability: ‘s subcontinent spin bowling guru, Sridharan Sriram. Photo: Andrew WuPUNE: India’s pitch doctors have been thrown another curve ball by the confident ns, who say they are prepared for whatever surface is thrown at them for the second Test in Bangalore.
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The finger-pointing is continuing in Indian cricket over the raging turner produced in Pune, with suspicion mounting that the home board pulled rank on their own pitch committee and leaned on the local association to produce a parched surface preying on ‘s weakness against spin.

The ploy backfired spectacularly after India lost the toss, were unable to scythe through an n team that had done their homework, then were skittled themselves by Steve O’Keefe.

​There will now be confusion within India’s team management over the type of pitch that will maximise their home-ground advantage.

In another boost for Steve Smith’s team, Bangalore has been a happy hunting ground for . They have won two and lost one from five Tests at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, their last win coming on the successful tour of 2004.

Another spinner’s paradise leaves them vulnerable to more grief from O’Keefe. A deck that lasts the distance will make life easier for ‘s batsmen, not to mention increase the influence of gun speedsters Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who bowled only 20 overs between them in the first Test.

The second option – seen throughout this Indian Test season – would be a vote of confidence for Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Both men have proven they can win games on flat tracks whereas O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon are yet to prove it. But that’s not to say they can’t.

‘s spin guru Sridharan Sriram believes the pair, who had no impact on the 2014 series against Pakistan in the Middle East, can also be effective playing the waiting game.

“That’s the mindset with which they came into this Test match as well I think – the wickets just happened,” Sriram said. “You bowl well, you bowl to your plan, you bowl to bowl the right length and bowl to the right speed – and the wickets take care of itself.

“All you can do is set up a batsman and adapt on the go what he’s doing and what can I do … be patient, to dry out the runs and to just play out the patience of the Indian batsmen.”

n cricketers have insisted after each failure in Asia they have learned their lesson, however this time there is more substance to their claims.

The batsmen showed in the first Test they trust their defence instead of taking the attitude that it’s only a matter of time they will fall victim to the gremlins in the pitch. There is also confidence within the squad they have been given proper preparation for this tour.

“I think the defeat in Sri Lanka has given them time to really go back and think  … what they could have done differently, what they need to do to come to India and adapt,” Sriram said. “You prepare for the worst. Then if you get the best, you go for it.

“I think the preparation in Dubai was excellent. We prepared different tracks. We made a rough, we made rank turners, we made slow and low pitches.

“All I can say is that the n batsmen were prepared this time. They worked a lot on their defence, they worked a lot on their scoring options, different scoring options.

“In India there’s no one way. Bangalore could be totally different, Ranchi could be totally different.

“What we’ve done well in this Test match and what we can take away is that we’ve adapted on the go. And that’s what I think we should look to do throughout the series.”

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