Home » ‘The first I’ve heard of it’: Smith’s surprise as India reveal bold pitch plan for fourth Test

‘The first I’ve heard of it’: Smith’s surprise as India reveal bold pitch plan for fourth Test

India has already taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead over Australia and is just one victory away from sealing the series as the third Test begins on Wednesday.

But triumph in Indore will mean even more for India, who would guarantee its spot in the World Test Championship final in June with just one more win against Australia.

And unless Sri Lanka beats New Zealand 2-0, Australia would once again be the opposition for India in the WTC final, which is scheduled to be played at Lord’s.

So, with all that in mind, India captain Rohit Sharma admitted ahead of the third Test that the hosts already have a plan to be better prepared for that possibility.

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Speaking to media on Tuesday, including AAP, Sharma conceded that India has already started to think about producing a green pitch for the fourth and final Test at Ahmedabad.

“There is definitely a possibility of that,” he said.

“We’ve spoken about it. We need to get the guys ready for it (WTC final) as well.

“That thought process is definitely there. If we do what we do here and we get the result we want, we might kick off doing something different in Ahmedabad.”

That admission came as a surprise to Steve Smith, who has stepped in as Australia’s acting captain with Pat Cummins returning home to be with his seriously ill mother.

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” Smith said.

“I guess we’ll wait and see. Hopefully we don’t let them get the job done here. We’ll see what happens from there after this Test.”

Rohit said it would be a “great achievement” to secure a berth in the WTC, adding that his team will not fall into the trap of being complacent against an understrength Australian team.

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“Yes these are our home conditions, but these are challenging conditions that we are playing in,” Rohit said.

“It is not easy for batsmen to keep scoring consistently. We were put under pressure in the last Test and we can expect the same here.”

It would not be the first time India has prepared in advance for fast-bowler friendly pitches, doing so in its 2017 Test series against Sri Lanka to ready itself for a tour of South Africa.

“Yes, because unfortunately we get only two days before we fly to South Africa after this series is over,” Kohli told reporters at the time.

“So we have no choice but to be in game situations and think of what’s coming ahead for us… as usual cramped for time, which I think we needed to assess in future as well.

“We thought this is an ample opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, put us in a situation… as I said, we want to embrace being in difficult conditions.”