The last ODI played at the Kotla was in 2016 but the venue also hosted a T20 game in 2017 which India won batting first against New Zealand. @ Twitter/Cricket Australia

If Mohali was a run fest where 717 runs were scored in the fourth ODI, the same may not be possible on the pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi – venue for the five-match series decider between India and Australia.

The pitch, which seemed to have started turning 10 overs into Australia’s first innings, did not tick all the boxes in former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi’s book. The left-arm spinner, who has taken 266 wickets in 67 Tests, feels the Kotla pitch has been “poorly kept”. (ALSO READ: ‘India are going to be a force to reckon with at the ICC World Cup 2019’)

“Playing surface at Kotla looks overused and yet not much domestic cricket has been played there. Even the rest of the square looks poorly kept. For this game, at least some ‘cosmetic’ treatment could have been provided to the entire square for it to appear nice & green to the ‘eye’,” Bedi tweeted on Wednesday.

Batting first would be the safest option on the surface, especially with the dew factor coming into the pitch later in the evening.

“Very little lateral movement on offer off the wicket, and the bounce will be a little low, so the average score is very low – about 220-230. The dew can have an effect later, there will be a little bit of spin with the grip on offer, but not enough to intimidate the batsmen,” Sunil Gavaskar said while explaining about the pitch.

The Aussies were well aware about the conditions and captain Aaron Finch opted to bat after the tourists won the toss. “Looks like a dry wicket. Hopefully, we can get a big score and defend it later. The wicket and the squares have been re-laid over the last few years, so we can’t look into the numbers much. Not a lot of international cricket here over the last 10 years,” Finch said at the toss.

India captain Virat Kohli too would have preferred to bat. “We would have batted first. Hopefully it doesn’t break down too much (the pitch) and hopefully there’s no dew in the second half as well,” Kohli said.

The last ODI played at the Kotla was in 2016 but the venue also hosted a T20 game in 2017 which India won batting first against New Zealand.