Kotla pitch a 'three-day' wicket?
The Feroz Shah Kotla pitch for the fourth and final Test between India and Australia has come under criticism from the former players, who have termed the track as a "three-day" wicket.
Image: Shane Watson inspects the pitch ahead of the Test
The pitch has cracks on it
The pitch, which has cracks on it, saw many balls keeping low, and some flying off after hitting the deck.
There was sideways movement from the cracks when pacer Ishant Sharma bowled from the Old Club house end.
The wicket has typical Kotla characteristics -- slightly slow. It is likely to keep low and turn as the match progresses.
The Indian spinners are assured of ample turn as try to inflict a rare series whitewash on the Australians.
Indian spinners will enjoy themselves on bald, dry surface
Expected to play truant during the match, the Indian spinners should to enjoy themselves on the bald, dry surface.
Former India mainstay VVS Laxman described it as "looking like a third-day pitch" and batting should prove more and more difficult as the match progresses.
Ravi Shastri, another former India player, said the Test might be a "three-day" affair during his pitch report before the start of play.
Image: Ravichandran Ashwin
'Too early to predict nature of the pitch'
Former Pakistan captain and commentator Ramiz Raja said, "Earlier, it looked like a three-day wicket to me, but now its opening up as the match is progressing.
"It would be too early to predict the nature of the pitch. There are cracks, which will provide good turn to the spinners. We need to wait and see before commenting on its nature," he said.
Image: Pragyan Ojha
Australian batsmen found shot-making difficult
There were instances when the Australian batsmen found shot-making difficult.
During the fifth over, bowled by medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the fourth ball hit a crack and broke away to make opener Ed Cowan play and then beat his edge. The ball hit the puff of dust before moving away.
Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar reacts
A vicious delivery hit the grill of Hughes's helmet
Another instance came in the 21st over of the innings when Ishant Sharma was bowling to Phillip Hughes.
It was a vicious delivery that hit the grill of Hughes's helmet from a length after taking a steep bounce. The ball was slightly short of length, which took off after hitting the deck and crashed into his helmet, making Hughes jump in the air to counter that with feet parallel to the ground.
The delivery unnerved Hughes big time and the same over saw the end of his innings as Ishant disturbed the timbers. The batsman was out for 45.
With a pitch like this, Australia's chances of avoiding a series whitewash looks slim.
Image: Phillip Hughes examines his helmet after being hit