IIf you believed Indian media coverage or supporters online, you’d think the home team is on the brink of disaster. After losing the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy match in Indore, the criticism has flowed: that the batting is broken, that nobody can play spin anymore, that the lower order papers over the cracks, that India’s spinners are not good after failing to bowl out Australia for 70, and especially that the preparations to turn places were a disaster waiting to happen, a tiger pit that India dug and then fell into themselves.

It’s an extensive list of diagnoses for a team that leads the series 2-1 and has now lost a total of three home Tests in the past decade. A team that came back to win both series after the first two of those losses, and will most likely win the current one. There is dismay at how India can fare in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, and rants about the dangers of shootout pitches – that is, surfaces where batting is so difficult that luck plays a bigger role than skill. But the weight of statistical probability says that with the scales so heavily tipped by home advantage, home concerns are unwarranted.

The only thing that could hold India back would be if they psych themselves out in preparation. After the Indore loss, Rohit Sharma complained about all the attention on surfaces. “Every time we play in India, the focus is only on the field. Why don’t people ask me about Nathan Lyon, how well he bowled, how well (Cheteshwar) Pujara batted in the second innings, how well Usman Khawaja bowled?”

The thing is, it’s pointless to object to media focus when Indian captains and coaches put such focus on the plans themselves. Australians at home show up at the ground and pick a team for whatever they get. Indian team preparations include deciding the type of surface they want to play on. Taking wickets is an inexact art, but those who run the team place an order and those who run the lawnmower try to fill it. This is a different world, one where the Indian board has centrally employed curators who go match-to-match in team training gear, and coach Rahul Dravid spends Day One lunch examining the strip of dirt in the middle, presumably conveying his displeasure at the fact that seven of his players had already been sacked.

The consequence is that when an Indian team plays poorly on a surface, the surface becomes one of the mistakes for which they are responsible. It can make a captain second-guess himself. Is he asking for the fourth Test to be similar to the third and risk a repeat of being the team with the worse collapse? Does he ask for a batting plan and trust his players to win over a full-length contest? The Australian model of divested liability may be starting to look appealing.

But really, it shouldn’t matter which option they choose. The sample size of Indian dominance at home – one that you can extend to show nine losses in almost 20 years dating back to Australia’s last series win here in 2004 – shows that they win in all kinds of home conditions. It could be earning 600 on flat tracks or 150 on minefields. Even in a shootout, home players are more likely to use extreme conditions to their advantage. It may fall the other way sometimes but those will be the anomalies.

One thing is true, which is that India’s historic brilliance against spin has faded. Someone like VVS Laxman on a turning lane was another level. Current players have little domestic first-class cricket as they graduate to national white-ball teams, except for specialists like Pujara. With 38 Ranji Trophy teams, domestic matches are a mixed bag of quality – there’s a reason why five players from this series and four recent omissions all have first-class triple hundreds. But there are also some tough tracks for school players in dealing with luck.

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Lacking that experience is a modern reality. At the same time, it is true that India’s players still have more experience in these conditions than anyone visiting them. They arrange several series per year. If Peter Handscomb can sustain progress in his technique for six years between tours, India’s players can bridge the gap of six months. In recent years, their stroke returns have declined in raw numbers, but on harder pitches they have continued to outscore their opponents. They should do the same in Ahmedabad. They should put the anomaly behind them and return to the mean. The probability is all going in one direction. Not that you would know that from the conversation.