Confusion on the Ahmedabad pitch, with two streaks prepared ahead of the fourth India-Australia Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium

India’s curators are keeping all options open for the fourth test, preparing two potential pitches for the Border Gavaskar series finals in Ahmedabad.

Australia remain uncertain which pitch at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium will be used for the test against India, which begins on Thursday.

India coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma both had lengthy center wicket inspections as the hosts trained at the Ahmedabad ground on Tuesday.

Pitch discussion was a constant throughout the first three Tests, with India deliberately introducing spin-friendly surfaces to uphold their chances of toppling Australia.

But that tactic backfired in the third Test at Indore, when Australia picked up an upset nine-wicket win in a match that ended early on day three.

Spin accounted for 26 of the 31 wickets taken at Holkar Stadium, resulting in the International Cricket Council [ICC] hit the pitch with the dreaded “poor” rating.

After the match, Sharma supported India’s decision to require curators to prepare heavily rotating pitches that make it difficult for batsmen to play on them, saying that the focus was too much on the wicket block rather than the cricket played.

Officials in Indian team uniforms have been spotted near the middle gate for extended periods ahead of all three previous Tests in Nagpur, Delhi and Indore.

“We want to play to our strengths at home and not worry about what people are talking about outside. Our strength is spin and our depth,” he said.

“People have to play well for the game to last five days.

Steve Smith on all fours rubs his hand across the grass at Narendra Modi Stadium. A woman with a watering can watches him.
Steve Smith took a close look at the surface before the fourth test.(Getty Images: Robert Cianflon)

“Games don’t even last five days outside of India.”

Seven of India’s last 11 men’s Tests have come to an end in three days, including all three games in the current series against Australia, with the last game in Indore being the only defeat for the home side in those competitions.

The former India test player told ESPN Cricinfo during the third test that a distinction could be made between seam-friendly pitches seen in Australia or England and the “rank turners” served in India.

“Eventually, if you see a greentop that has a lot of moisture in it, it actually becomes a decent surface to hit, and maybe the spinners will come into the picture at some point,” Chopra said.

“But when you start a game where the cloud of dust kicks up [on the pitch] is there from ball one… it keeps getting worse. Confusion on the Ahmedabad pitch, with two streaks prepared ahead of the fourth India-Australia Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium

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