The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to change the pitch rating for the third Test between India and Australia in Indore. After the match referee gave the Holkar Stadium pitch a ‘poor’ rating, the Board of Contol for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to lodge an appeal. In what can be called a successful outcome from the appeal, the rating was revised from ‘poor’ to ‘below average’. However, the ICC’s decision hasn’t gone down well with a section of Australian media.

Criticising the apex board’s decision, an Australian outlet branded the decision as ‘ridiculous’. Even Australia’s former cricketer and coach Darren Lehmann reacted to the news on social media.

“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start,” match referee Chris Broad wrote in his report.

“The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match,” he had added.

After the BCCI lodged an appeal, footage from the match was reviewed, based on which the rating was upgraded to ‘below average’.

Explaining the decision, ICC said in a statement: “The footage from the Test was reviewed by an ICC appeal panel consisting of Wasim Khan, ICC General Manager – Cricket, and Roger Harper, ICC Men’s Cricket Committee Member. Both were of the opinion that, while the guidelines had been followed by the Match Referee in accordance with Appendix A of the Pitch Monitoring Process, there was not enough excessive variable bounce to warrant the ‘poor’ rating.

“The panel, therefore, concluded that the pitch should be rated ‘below average’, meaning the Holkar Stadium will receive only one demerit point instead of the original three.”

At the Holkar Stadium, 14 wickets fell on the first day and, out of the 31 wickets to fall in the Test, 26 went to spinners.

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