India clinched the four-match Test series against England by an emphatic 3-1 margin. After losing the first Test rather timidly, they came back brilliantly to dominate England in the next three Tests. After a methodical victory in the second Test in Chennai, India brushed aside the England challenge in the last two Tests in Ahmedabad, inside two and three days respectively. With the win in the final Test, they also booked their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Team India opener Rohit Sharma has stated that Rishabh Pant can continue to bat the way he wants as long as he is doing the job for the team. He also requested critics to cut Pant some slack for his failures. The left-hander smashed 101 from 118 balls as India ended Day 2 of the Ahmedabad Test at 294 for 7, with a lead of 89.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has opined that over-importance must not be given to foreign players, who have been criticising the surfaces being used for the ongoing India-England series. According to Gavaskar, these ex-players are only getting publicity by raking up pitch controversies.
Indian captain Virat Kohli stuck to his stance of defending the pitch used for the day-night Test. The pink-ball Test between India and England ended in under two days, with India winning by 10 wickets. In the following days, there has been numerous criticism about the pitch. While the Indian team has stuck to its guns, a number of former cricketers, particularly from England, have been critical of the surface.
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.
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.
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.