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India vs Australia, 5th ODI: Nagpur’s newly-laid pitch to intensify action

The pitch curator assured that the fifth and final ODI on Sunday will be a feast for spectators.

SNS | New Delhi |

As Virat Kohli-led India look to end the five-match ODI series on a high and Steve Smith’s Australia eye another consolation win, pitch curator assured that the fifth and final ODI to be played in Nagpur on Sunday will be a feast for spectators.

“The bounce will not be on the higher side but it will be consistent. It will be a good pitch as far as the spectators are concerned. It will surely have more runs compared to the recent international games played here,” Pravin Hingnikar, pitch curator at the VCA Stadium, told PTI on the eve of the match.

Down the line, the Nagpur wicket received a lot of criticism for its damp pitch. Once a great batting wicket, the VCA Stadium turned into a surface, where even the best of batsmen struggle and teams end on poor-totals.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) gave a poor rating to the VCA Stadium pitch after India defeated hopeless South Africa inside three days of a Test match in 2015.

It is the same ground where India were wrapped for 79 runs and lost to New Zealand disgracefully in a 2016 World T20 tie.

However, Hingnikar doesn’t regret much for past humiliation and is optimistic for a turnaround. “That is all in the past. We will reclaim our lost glory,” he said.

The curator continued: “I don’t have any pressure as far as the previous games are concerned. It was a very good ground and good pitch till 2015 but after that there were certain games (the Test against South Africa) in which pitches were not up to the mark. But that is set to change after we changed the square in March.”

Revealing that dew won’t affect the game more than usual, Hingnikar said that the newly-laid ‘Vidarbha soil’ will intensify the thrill.

“We have changed the soil completely; we have good local soil here as Vidarbha is a soil rich area. We have also done enough trials on the new square. It should be a good game tomorrow,” Hingnikar added.

India have already clinched the five-ODI series by 3-1, though Australia ride dynamism as they won last the fourth ODI at the M Chinnaswamy, Bengaluru by 21 runs.