After a humiliating loss on a 'poor' Indore pitch, here's what India need to do to qualify for the WTC final

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalMar 03, 2023 | 19:00

After a humiliating loss on a 'poor' Indore pitch, here's what India need to do to qualify for the WTC final

The third Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar trophy between India and Australia ended on an embarrassing note for the hosts as the Men In Blue suffered a humiliating defeat. The Indore pitch, which became a major reason for India's loss, has been severely criticised.

The pitch at Indore has been rated "poor" by the ICC with Holkar Stadium handed three demerit points. "The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start," ICC match referee Chris Broad said.

Matthew Kuhnemann of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin of India during day one of the Third Test match in the series between India and Australia. Photo: Getty

14 wickets fell on the first day of the match as the Indian team collapsed at a dismal total of 109, while Australia too lost four wickets on the first day. Australia's left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnamann clinched five wickets in his second Test. In the the second innings, Australia's off-spin bowler Nathan Lyon ran through the Indian team, taking 8 wickets in total. The team was bundled out at 163.

Australia chased down a modest target of 76 runs on the third day with seven wickets in hand.

What former cricketers said

Former Australian skipper Mark Waugh said that the pitch was a "mayhem". "The pitch was not up to Test standard, I think that's a fair thing to say," Waugh said.

His former teammate Matthew Hayden said that the pitch was biased towards the spinners. "It shouldn't be a spin bowlers' paradise necessarily, it shouldn't be keeping low and turning a mile on day one," Hayden said.

Former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengaskar also slammed the pitch. He said that the pitch makes all the difference. "If the ball turns from day one's first session itself, and that too with uneven bounce, it makes a mockery of Test cricket," Vengaskar said.

India's KS Bharat is dismissed by Australia's Nathan Lyon during the second day of the third Test. Photo: Getty

While the controversy around the pitch remained a hot topic, it should also not be noted that it was the Indian team management that requested for a slightly turning surface than a complete flat wicket.

Even the pitches of the first two Tests were also rated as 'Average' by the ICC as the batters struggled on them too. 

Rohit Sharma wanted a turning pitch

Skipper Rohit Sharma stood his ground on the team's request for preparation of pitches that would help the spin bowlers. "It was our call to play on such pitches. We knew that we could face challenges as well, but we were ready for these challenges," Sharma said.

"We don't want to prepare a pitch where the results are not coming. We want to play to win."

How India can qualify for the WTC final now?

Australia has secured its spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final by winning the third Test. With a PTC (Points contested) of 69, Australia has now reached the top of the table of the WTC.

Even if they lose the fourth Test, they would still have a PTC of 65 and they would still go on to play the final.

For India to qualify, the team needs to win the fourth Test against Australia. By winning the next Test, India will get a PCT of 63 and will therefore qualify for the WTC final.


If India win the last Test, their PCT will go up to 62.5 with 135 points from a maximum of 216 on offer (18 Tests). They will then retain their second position and will qualify for WTC final.

In case of a defeat, India's PCT will drop to 56.94 and then they will have to depend on the result of Sri Lanka vs New Zealand series. In case of a draw, India's PCT will drop to 58.79 and in this case also, India will have to wait for the result of SL vs NZ series.

If Sri Lanka doesn't win the series 2-0 against New Zealand, then India will qualify for the final. This is because Sri Lanka is at the third position at the WTC table with a PCT of 53.

Last updated: March 03, 2023 | 22:46
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