#INDAvAUS: Pune pitch | Ball will fly initially while spinners will get assistance from fourth day – Local pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar had, earlier in the day, promised a pitch that would see the ball 'fly' around.
Anil Kumble (R) with BCCI chief curator Daljit Singh (C) and Pune Stadium curator Pandurang Salgoankar on Tuesday (PTI)
After addressing his press conference, Anil Kumble walked back to the field and headed straight to the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium pitch here on Tuesday.
The India head coach had a close look at it and tapped it a few times as Daljit Singh, chairman of the pitches and grounds committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), came and stood beside Kumble. A long chat between the two followed.
After the Indian team was done with its training session, Daljit called out for a couple of groundsmen and asked them to apply the small roller on the deck.
Local pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar had, earlier in the day, promised a pitch that would see the ball 'fly' around. Salgaonkar, who was himself a fast bowler for Maharashtra, said the pitch will offer good bounce for the quicks, adding that it would assist the spinners only from the fourth day onwards.
Quite unusual for an Indian pitch, especially one in the current home season.
But Salgaonkar's words did seem to hold credence by the look of the pitch from the outside. It was firm, light brownish with a gentle layer of grass on it. However, with a day still to go for the start of the first Test, that grass could well be chopped off.
And the Aussies are aware of that.
"I would be surprised if it flies around here," Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood said. "I think there is still a day-and-a-half for the start. We will have a good look (at the pitch) in the morning of the game and see how it looks. Hopefully, it will fly around," he added with a chuckle.
Kumble said it looked a good surface, but wasn't quite kicked about the constant spotlight on pitches in the recent past.
"The least that we (team) discuss is about the pitch, about the toss. We keep countering these type of questions at the start of the series or match, saying how is the pitch and what do you think about the toss. If you look back at the nine Tests that we've played at home, each one has its own challenges," Kumble said.
"We've played at venues where Test cricket hasn't been played before, and the same here as well. So, in that sense, this team is capable of adjusting and adapting to whatever challenges come up," he added.