What is turning out to be the most fascinating of Test series, between India and Australia, continues on Wednesday at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi, with the two sides locked together at 1-1, with two fixture left to play in the series.
Although neither of the pitches in Pune or Bengaluru, where the first two Tests were played, were spiteful spitting strips, so often found in India, the spinners still dominated the batsmen, and both games ultimately were won for their respective countries by their slow bowlers.
The secret of success for both sides may be in the calm application and patience needed to be shown by the batters. In Pune, India were hustled out for just 105 and 107, and yet on the very same strip, the Australian captain, Steve Smith had managed to score a century.
The two Australian spinners, Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe are certainly proving a match for the home sides twirlers. O’Keefe having bowled out the hosts twice in Pune, while Lyon took 8-50 in the first innings of the second Test, which are the best figures by an overseas player in a Test match in India.
The venue for Wednesday’s encounter, is being used for a Test match for the very first time, and although that makes the nature of a five day pitch somewhat unknown, it offers a big playing surface, which will be to the spinners advantage and liking.
The stadium first played host to international cricket in 2013, when the third ODI of the series against England was held there. In total there have been four ODI’s on the ground, and the run rate has yet to finish at an average of over six per over.
Whatever the outcome, the series will not be decided until the final fixture, which is far from the whitewash in favour of the No.1 ranked home side, that many were predicting ahead of the start of the tour.