Ever since the pink ball test between India and England ended in just a couple of days, there has been plenty of talk around the pitch being too spin friendly and completely alien to the tourists. Facts do support this talk, as 28 out of the 30 wickets that fell in this test match belonged to spinners. Neither of the team managed to cross 150 as India were set a paltry target of 49 in the fourth innings to win the test and knock England out of contention of the World Test Championship, which they did without breaking a sweat.
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has backed Indian counterpart Ravichandran Ashwin over the ongoing controversy related to the pitch in Ahmedabad. There has been a raging debate over the nature of the surface after the India-England pink-ball Test ended in under two days, with spinners from both sides running riot. A number of former England cricketers including Michael Vaughan and Monty Panesar have hit out at India over the pitch prepared for the third Test.
With the debate around the pitch refusing to end, Indian off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, on Saturday, hit out at critics, stating that the pitch talk was getting out of hand. The Ahmedabad pitch used for the pink-ball Test has been in focus after the match ended well inside two days. However, according to the Indian off-spinner, the debate should focus around the performance of players and not the pitch, which, according to him, is being stretched beyond limit.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma refused to blame the Ahmedabad pitch after the hosts defeated England by 10 wickets in the third Test of the four-match series. Resuming at 99 for 3, India were restricted to 145 in their first innings as Joe Root claimed a five-for. Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, however, combined to claim nine second innings wickets as England were rolled over for 81. India got home with 10 wickets to spare in the chase of 49.
After a week-long break, India and England will resume their rivalry when the face off in the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad from Wednesday. The four-match series is currently locked 1-1. Most of the debate going into the third Test is how the pink ball will behave and also how the batsmen will tackle the twilight period. Discussions are also centering around whether India should go in with two or three spinners.
A lot of eyebrows were raised were Suryakumar Yadav was not picked in the T20I squad for the tour of Australia. The 30-year-old has been performing consistently in domestic cricket for a few years now. Also, he has been the backbone of the Mumbai Indians’ middle-order for the last couple of seasons, winning them matches from tense situations. His non-inclusion in the team for Australia led to massive criticism from various quarters in Indian cricket.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma hit out at critics of the pitch for the second Test against England in Chennai, stating that surfaces have been prepared in the same manner in India for many years now. According to Rohit, there is no reason for that to change. He pointed out that every team uses the home advantage so there is no logic in people criticizing India for doing the same.
England coach Chris Silverwood has cleared the air over the Moeen Ali controversy, confirming that it was the team management’s decision to rest the all-rounder for the last two Tests against India. Silverwood even issued a public apology to Moeen, admitting that his exit was not handed in the proper manner.
Indian captain Virat Kohli and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin praised debutant Axar Patel, who claimed a five-wicket haul on Test debut in the second innings of the second innings of the second Test in Chennai. Patel picked up 5 for 60 as India rolled over England for 164. With the 317-run triumph, India squared the four-match series 1-1.