Pune: Australia captain Steven Smith called the Pune pitch, the venue of the first Test against India, a rank turner where the ball will spin from day one. He also said that he never witnessed a wicket like this before.
“I think it will take spin from ball one. There are a couple of divots out of the wicket as well,” Smith was quoted by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’. By “divot”, Smith termed the track as a piece of turf cut out of the ground by a golf club in making a stroke or by a sports player’s boot. It’s another way of terming the pitch under-prepared.
“I haven’t really seen a wicket like that before a Test match so I think it is going to take a lot of spin and potentially some up and down movement for the fast bowlers as well,” Smith told Australian media in a separate media conference.
The Sydney Morning Herald published two close shots of the 22-yard strip showing the cracks that’s already started opening. While the normal accredited media (host or visiting) does not have access to the pitch side — save the official broadcasters — the Australian journalists made their way to the restricted area, took photographs of the pitch from various angles. Smith’s observation completely rubbishes the “ball will fly” theory of local curator Pandurang Salgaoncar.