The pitch has become the major talking point once again after India thrashed England by ten wickets inside two days in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. Even before the start of the match, the pitch was a major talking point after India’s win over England in the second Test. The English cricket fraternity had criticized the pitch in Chennai after England’s heavy 317-run loss.
And the criticism has only increased in the wake of England’s humiliating defeat in Ahmedabad. The visitors could not even last for two days as India thrashed them to take an unassailable lead in the series. The loss has also ended England’s hopes of making it to the final of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship final.
Joe Root won a good toss but he and his teammates failed to capitalise on it. Consequently, England were all out for just 112. They, however, clawed their way back into the game by bowling out India for just 145. But their batsmen failed to deliver again in the second innings as India bowled out England for just 81. Set a target of 49, the hosts crossed the finishing line in less than 8 overs.
And as the pitch became the talking point once again, India skipper Virat Kohli made it clear that there were no demons on the track. While he said that the game-ending inside two days was bizarre, Kohli termed the pitch as ‘very good’. He blamed the batsmen of both the teams for performing ‘under par’ against the good spin bowling.
“[It was] a very good pitch to bat on – especially in the first innings – and it felt like the ball was coming on nicely with the odd-ball turning. It was just, I would say, below-par batting from both teams. Our bowlers were much more effective and that’s why we got the result,” Virat Kohli said.
Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss disagree with Kohli’s assessment of the pitch
Former England captains – Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss – however, didn’t agree with Virat Kohli’s assessment of the pitch. The legendary cricketers criticised the pitch and also suggested that Kohli was being protective of the groundsmen by praising the track. Cook was critical of Kohli’s defense of the pitch and also said that batting properly on the track was impossible.
“We saw a stat that says this pitch has spun more than any other pitch in India. There’s been so many other balls that have gone straight on as well. So that means when it is turning, it is turning miles. When you see the highlights and the ball skidding on you, we don’t see the build-up: when the exact same ball is spinning miles,” Cook told Channel 4.
“Virat Kohli’s come out and defended the wicket almost as if it’s a BCCI thing – it cannot possibly be the wicket. Yet it was so hard to bat on that today. So hard. Take the wicket out and blame the batsmen? We’ve got Virat Kohli, Joe Root, we have some great players of spin. Yes, we’ve got some people who have got to learn to play spin better, but we have got great players of spin also struggling. To me it’d be great to have that game with the red ball to see the difference when the ball is skidding on. Today trying to play properly, it was nigh-on impossible,” he added.
Strauss echoed the same sentiments and cited Root’s failure with the bat to back his claim. The legendary England captain cheekily stated that Kohli defended the pitch to protect the groundsmen, saying:
“Look at Joe Root for a moment. We know he is a great player of spin,” Strauss said. “He is in great form as well. What did he get – 19 today? Might have been out two or three times en route to getting that score. And by the way, that’s day two of a Test match. To say the pitch has no fault to play, I totally agree with Cooky. Kohli’s looking after the groundsmen there to a certain degree.”
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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