Third Test venue to be changed from Dharamsala over pitch concerns

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The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar series is set to be moved with the venue in Dharamsala reportedly deemed unfit to host the occasion.

Multiple local reports say that the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium will be stripped of the match due to the poor condition of the outfield, which has several bare patches having been recently re-laid.

In a series full of blows already, it’s yet another for Australia given it was the venue that was best-suited to fast bowling.

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The fourth Test of Australia’s 2017 visit was held at Dharamsala, and pace proved to have a greater influence with India’s Umesh Yadav dominating with the new ball in the second innings.

Smith later described in his autobiography The Journey that the pitch was the “best of the lot”, offering some pace and bounce.

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The news came hours after Australia was dealt another blow on the tour with the Nagpur wicket watered down immediately after the first Test despite requests for the pitch to be made available for the visitors’ training.

It’s unclear what venue will replace Dharmsala, but Indore and Rajkot are reportedly frontrunners.

Only two Tests have been held in Indore and in Rajkot with India beating Bangladesh and New Zealand at the former, and England and the West Indies at the latter.

India can retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy before teams even play the third Test having won the first match in Nagpur by an innings.

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