Australia will head into the third of the five-match ODI series against hosts India, scheduled for Sunday, September 24 at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, in a must-win situation as they were completely outplayed in the first two ODIs by Virat Kohli's men.
While high scores were predicted throughout the series, the visitors' bowlers have done good job so far in limiting Kohli and Co. from posting mammoth totals. However, their batsmen have let captain Smith down with ordinary performances in the first two matches.
The big names from the visiting team have struggled against the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who have picked 10 wickets between them in the ongoing series. Notably, the latter derailed Australia's chase of 253 in Kolkata on Thursday, September 21 by claiming his maiden ODI hat-trick.
How will Indore pitch behave? Curator answers
Ahead of the third ODI, there is more bad news for Smith's men as Holkar Stadium curator Samandar Singh Chauhan insists there will be a lot of assistance for wrist spinners from the pitch, that has black cotton soil.
The Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) curator also added batsmen will make merry on Sunday as the pitch offered a lot of assistance to them during a two-day game they had arranged for the Ranji Trophy players of the state earlier this month.
Indore has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the former India opener Virender Sehwag who had hit his ODI double century (219) at Holkar Stadium against West Indies in 2011. Also, the average first innings total at the venue is 311, while the highest total is 418 for 5 (by India against the West Indies).
"We have used black cotton soil, brought from different parts of Madhya Pradesh. In this weather, it won't crumble and it won't be very dry. It has capacity to hold water but it will be good for the wrist spinners," Chauhan said, as quoted by the "Press Trust of India" news agency.
He added, "We had used this pitch for a two-day match between the players of our Ranji players. Ninety overs were bowled on both days on September 7 and 8 and good runs were scored. It should be a high scoring game."
Holkar ready to battle rain threat
While the first two matches of the ongoing series in Chennai and Kolkata witnessed brief spells of showers, rain threat (sporadic showers) looms over the third ODI as well. However, Chauhan said the stadium has a good drainage facility to make sure they get a game on Sunday.
"We are equipped with three super soppers, 12 sump well - each having 60-feet deep boring and 48 100-feet borewells to make the ground ready," Chauhan added.