- The controversy surrounding the cricket pitch laid out for the third Test match between India and England refuses to die. Many yesteryear stalwarts have commented for and against the pitch, some questioning the very rationality of presenting such a playing surface expressing concerns about the health of the Test matches. Of course, few of the key Indian cricket players have called the bluff by raising questions about the lack of application by the England cricketers while tackling the spin-friendly surface. The jury is still out as to what should be the ideal surface not discounting the fact that conditions would be exploited to its advantage by the home side.
- As the debate rages on, former England players are not holding back in deriding the surface presented so far in the series. Equally scathing and unrelenting are our renowned ex-players not found wanting in showing how brittle the English batsmen’s techniques are in confronting the guiles of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel in the last two Tests. Without beating around the bushes, let us all be very clear in noting that none of the hosting teams would let go of an opportunity to prepare pitches suiting their strengths. And England is not averse to embrace the same too.
- Experts and ex-players raising questions about the quality of pitches in India amount to nothing but the hypocrisy that fails to delve deep to ascertain what failed the English batsmen so badly. Any visiting teams to England are presented with seaming and swinging surfaces aiding the fast bowlers. Negotiating the pace, bounce, movements of the pitch, and seam-friendly green tops are par for the course conditions the visiting Indian team or any other team faces where none raises a whiff of concerns or cries foul about the conditions on offer. Why then this unending debate about the spinner-friendly tracks being raised now? Serves no purpose whatsoever.
PC: Sidharth Monga
- The inability of the English batsmen to apply themselves and play for longer duration amply demonstrates poor techniques combined with a glaring lack of ability in reading the match situation has compounded their problems so far. Add to it the illogical policy decision to rotate key players has immensely contributed to their poor showing. While embarking on a demanding tour like India, every team should possess players of caliber and proven exponents under diverse conditions to live up to the demands expected in performing optimally. Resting players at the cost of losing out on quality performers to mount even challenge poses serious policy questions.
- Rest assured, expect the fourth and final Test at Ahmedabad to be another rank turner giving not an inch for the visitors to feel respite from the spin onslaught. Instead of wasting energies on mostly irrelevant issues, England batsmen should show more spine in lasting the distance to pose a real challenge to the spin juggernaut of Ashwin and Axar. Failing this, results can be readily deduced for the series and the Indian Team will book its place in the World Test Championship to face the New Zealanders.