IND vs AUS 1st Test: The Border-Gavaskar Trophy returns to India after six years and so does the conjecture around pitches in India and how they are going to play. India vs Australia series are always closely contested series and it is expected to play out, in the same way, this time around too. The Aussies have already started to play mind games and they have only one thing running in the back of their minds, pitches in India and how they are expected to play out. The series opener will be played in Nagpur and will start on February 9, 2023.
The new VCA stadium, which is also known as the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium is located in Jamtha. The new VCA was inaugurated in 2008 after it replaced the old Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground as the city's main cricket stadium. Interestingly, the ground has earned a lot of credibility to itself as an international cricket stadium. To this date, the new VCA stadium has hosted a total of 12 T20 matches, 11 ODI matches, and 5 Test matches. The stadium also hosted four matches in the 2011 ICC ODI World Cup.
The pitch at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium
The Indian team has requested a spinning track and it seems that the wicket might end up becoming a rank turner. Traditionally, the VCA has a red soil pitch. The team winning the toss will opt to bat first as it might get extremely difficult to bat on the 4th or the 5th day of the Test match. The bounce might be uneven and this might force the batsmen to stay low and ride with the bounce. There might be some assistance for the seamers on the first two days, especially with the ball skidding on, but apart from it, the spinners from both sides will have plenty of purchases from the wicket. There is a dry patch at one end and the left-handed batters will find it extremely difficult especially with the ball spinning into them.
Statistical analysis of Test matches being played at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium
- Total matches played: 5
- Matches won batting first: 2
- Matches won bowling first: 2
- Average 1st innings score: 345
- Average 2nd innings score: 418
- Average 3rd innings score: 261
- Average 4th innings score: 209
- Highest total: 610/6 (176.1 Ov) by IND vs SL
- Lowest total: 166/10 (49.3 Ov) by SL vs IND
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As far as the impact of spinners on this track goes, in the year 2015, all 20 South African wickets were claimed by the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The conditions at Nagpur will tempt both teams to play three spinners. Both Indi and Australia have decent batters who play spin well and the challenge might be even for both teams.