After preparing a flat deck for the series opener, the Chepauk groundstaff came up with a rank turner. With the ball turning from day one, 15 wickets tumbled on day two. And it had the former players around the world complaining about the quality of the pitch. Hitting back, Sunil Gavaskar questioned why such complaints never surface when teams prepare green decks at home. Gavaskar feels that people only complain when ball starts to spin in India.”
“We saw how Rohit Sharma getting 150, and yesterday he was getting close to ball and batting. This criticism (on pitch) is pretty warranted,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports. “Some of them are saying that – but you have a seaming pitch in England. Australia get dismissed for 46 – the ball keeps seaming all throughout. No one talks about that. It’s always about Indian pitches, and when the ball starts to turn, people pose a problem,” Gavaskar said.
“Yes. One or two who we know who don’t like India, who don’t like England, so they always be having a go at India and England, so that’s fine. We ignore them because we know the double standards. But basically, we saw with Rohit Sharma’s innings, if pitch was impossible, nobody would have scored 330,” Gavaskar said.
‘It’s not unplayable,’ reckons Sunil Gavaskar
The former Indian opener feels that the pitch is difficult to bat on. But it, in no way, is an “unplayable” pitch as some players have pointed out. Gavaskar adds that it is the technique of batsmen that is at fault. He pointed out how the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane batted to ramp up big scores on the pitch.
“It’s not unplayable. It’s a challenging pitch, and that’s what cricket should be about. In the first Test, on the first two days, when nothing was happening, people were saying ‘it’s boring, nothing is happening. It’s so easy to bat.’ So, there has to be a bit of balance between what is said. You cannot be complaining all the time,” Gavaskar said. “There are some who are forever complaining about this, that or the other. Yes, it’s a challenging pitch. Rohit Sharma showed in the first innings. More than that, in the 2nd innings, after England have been bowled out for 134, Rohit showed no discomfort against England spinners.“
“You can argue that maybe England spinners are not as good as Ashwin. That they did not bowl the lines and length that Ashwin or Axar did. But you have to also argue that who has got the better technique when it comes to batting and who has the better skills when it comes to bowling. That really should be the debate rather than the pitch,” Gavaskar signed off.
Despite losing a heap of wickets early on, India continues to dominate the game as they have extended their lead over the 300 run mark. Indian captain Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin are set now and will be looking to score some quick runs before lunch. It looks like India will be declaring once they cross the 400 run mark. With over two days in hand, the hosts are favorites to level the series.