Of all the surfaces in Australia, the Gabba wicket would be the most foreign to India with its pace and bounce after the pitches in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide felt more closer to home.
However, having stayed in Australia for over two months and having got acclimatised to the conditions, the Indian team would somehow fancy itself playing at the Gabba more now than it would have at the start of the tour, the injuries to players notwithstanding.
India batting coach Vikram Rathour acknowledged that the long tour, which began with a quarantine period and involved two three-day warm-up games, has in fact helped the team prepare itself well for the challenge of facing short-pitched and fast deliveries on the tour of Australia.
“On this tour, we got a lot of time to prepare. We got here early, we got lot of practice sessions as I said earlier, we have really prepared well. This being a wicket which will have more bounce. You expect more bounce and pace here. Having played well and having played well for so many days now, the belief is there that the boys will be able to handle it and handle it well I am sure,” said Rathour while speaking to the media on Thursday.
Australia captain Tim Paine for once felt completely at home on seeing the pitch. So much so that he didn’t even go to look at the surface.
Asked if he thinks the wicket will have enough pace and bounce, Paine said, “Absolutely, that is what I am expecting. So much so that I haven’t been out there and looked at it. I think Gabba has been a brilliant wicket for Test cricket forever. So we don’t expect that to change.
From a distance it looks like a magnificent wicket. It is a great place to play Test cricket. We always love getting back here at the Gabba. Love playing here and one of the main reasons is the wicket here. I don’t have to go and look at it. I know what to expect.