Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: Former England skipper Alastair Cook said that the pitch for the third Test between India and England was hard to bat on and while many balls went straight, others were “turning miles”.
The third Test between India and England finished within two days as the hosts registered a 10-wicket win. Many former players had criticised the pitch, but Virat Kohli had stressed that the quality of batting was to be blamed for as both teams failed to score big runs. However, Cook begged to differ from the Indian skipper. “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,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Cook as saying on 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.
Agreeing with Cook, former skipper Andrew Strauss said Kohli was looking after the groundsmen to a certain degree.
“Look at Joe Root for a moment. We know he is a great player of spin. 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,” he said.
Both Strauss and Cook are experts for Channel 4 — the India-England series broadcaster in the UK.
During the third Test, spinners dominated the game. Axar Patel finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner R Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game.
Moreover, during India’s first innings, James Anderson and Stuart Broad failed to scalp even a single wicket, whereas, skipper Joe Root picked five wickets in the innings.