Cricket-Rohit defends India's choice of turning tracks
INDORE, India (Reuters) - Captain Rohit Sharma said India had done nothing wrong in trying to maximise home field advantage by selecting turning tracks for their series against Australia after a third straight test was wrapped up inside three days.
India thumped Australia in Nagpur and Delhi to grab a 2-0 lead in the four-test series with their spinners ruling the roost in both matches, before Australia flipped the script in Indore, racing to a nine-wicket victory on Friday.
Spin powerhouse India were bundled out for 109 and 163 in the third test, with off-spinner Nathan Lyon claiming 11 of the 20 wickets.
"At the start of the series, we made a choice of what kind of pitches we wanted to play on," Rohit told reporters after India's unbeaten nine-test run on home soil came to an end.
"It was a collective call that we wanted this kind of pitches."
Milking 'home advantage' is commonplace in test cricket and India are likely to roll out another turning track in Ahmedabad for the final match next week.
Thirty wickets fell in the first two days at Indore's Holkar Cricket Stadium, drawing criticism that the pitch did not provide a fair contest between bat and ball.
"When you're playing at home, you always play to your strengths, and not worry about what people outside are talking about," the opener said.
"We want to play to our strength and our strength is spin bowling and batting. Everyone uses that advantage outside. So what's wrong with that?"
Rohit said the fall of the wickets had more to do with the quality of the bowling than the conditions.
"Even in the first innings, I don't think there was a lot happening (because of the pitch). If you look at the dismissals, we played poorly," he added.
"Out of the 10 wickets in the first innings, maybe one or two was where the pitch did help the bowler a little bit.
"Other than that, I think it was the skill of the bowler to fox the batsman and get rid of the batsman."
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)