After Australia's back-to-back series defeats against India in the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the ICC has reportedly passed a rating on the pitches of Nagpur and Delhi.
The playing surfaces were a subject of huge discussion ahead of the blockbuster series.
As per reports in Australian media, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, the ICC and match referee has given an 'average' rating to both pitches.
The pitch at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur has received an ‘average’ rating from the governing body of the sport and its match referee, Zimbabwe's Andy Pycroft.
The strip for the second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, where Australia fought hard for two days before bundling out for 113 runs in the third, was also an "average" rating by Pycroft. The surface was deemed to be fair if not perfect.
The preparation of the Nagpur pitch was of heavy interest to the Australian side. Star batters David Warner and Steve Smith were seen observing the surface closely and pressing against the pitch to check its hardness at various points before the match started. Images of "selective watering" also emerged online, which was done to ensure the areas outside off stump of left-handers were left dry for spinners.
Australia's high-performance chief, Ben Oliver defended his side's truncated preparation for Indian pitches, but his predecessor Pat Howard pointed out that a prolonged period of preparations are needed. Back in 2017 during their last visit to India, Australia had taken a 1-0 lead, but lost the series by 2-1.
India will play the third Test in Indore from March 1 onwards, while the final Test will be held in Ahmedabad from March 9. The first ODI between Australia and India is in Mumbai on March 17, before the remaining two games in Vizag (March 19) and Chennai (March 22).