An emphatic Indian victory in under two days at the world's largest stadium in Ahmedabad has created quite an uproar about the pitch. Most of the previous British internationals namely- Micheal Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, and Graeme Swann have gone on to criticize the pitch.
They also managed to find support from their Australian counterparts like Mark Waugh. Surprisingly Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has also criticized the pitch in question. The arguments were mainly on the grounds that it was skewed towards spin bowling and thus suited the Indian team more.
Following a pitch befuddle, Indian off-spinner R. Ashwin had an altercation with some British journalists and it appears that the foreign media is trying to take the credit away from India in their victory. India has found support in England pacer Stuart Broad, who stated that they were found deficient in playing spin and India has exposed their weakness. Similarly, West India great Vivian Richards has stated that when you plan a tour for India, you expect turning tracks and practice accordingly.
At Ahmedabad out of 30 wickets to fall, 21 fell on balls that kept straight and it was the inability to understand the action much more than the pitch itself, which shows lack of preparation. from the touring side. Rohit Sharma stated that the ball was coming onto the bat and only an oddball was turning. Kohli said during prize distribution that it was a below-par batting performance by both sides and the pitch can not be blamed for poor application by the batsmen.
India has been subjected to doctored Pitches
India has been subjected to seaming pitches whenever they have toured the SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) countries as pacy seaming tracks are considered India's weakness, and Indians have never complained in the past. If we look at the last 3 series losses against England, South Africa, and New Zealand, scoring 200 plus was a match-winning total.
The counties knew that Indians can play well on docile tracks and they will go for shots. So such pitches were created where driving was difficult and movement of the pitch was pronounced.
I have made a table of scores of these Tests and you will witness on how many occasions a score of less than 200 were scored and 300 plus was managed. You must be surprised to know that only on two occasions it has been achieved.
However, doctoring can not be understood unless we make a comparison of scores when other countries were playing at the same venue.
We must honor that Indian team management have never blamed the pitch for their misgivings. Take the instance of the historic win of India down under. Pujara was hit umpteen times, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, and Rishabh Pant were hit badly as well. Further Lyon took only 9 wickets in the whole series as pitches were made to neutralize Indian spinners. If this kind of pitch would have been in practice, Lyon would have never been able to play 100 Tests and taken 399 wickets.
Pitch For the 4th Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium
One question to my readers, should India play for showing apostles of justice and lose or work within the ambit of prerogatives and win. In my last article, I had stated that grass should be less than 4 mm to aid spin. The reason is simple, the main pacers of India- Jasprit Bumrah, and Shami are out. Ishant is more of a breakthrough bowler. Umesh is coming out of Injury. T. Natarajan and Bhubneshwar Kumar can not swing the ball in India on most occasions. and Mohammed Siraj will not get the bounce so he can be hit.
So, in a nutshell, English batsmen who have scored against pace attacks of Australia, South Africa, and West Indies like Joe Burns, Dom Sibley, Ollie Pope, and Zak Crawley become effective players whereas in front of spinners they are mere pedestrians. So India should prepare a spinning track if they want to cement their place in the World Test Championship final to be held at Lord's.
Team New and Selections
Mohammed Siraj is likely to be the replacement of Jasprit Bumrah and the rest of the Indian team is likely to remain unchanged.
England, on the other hand, will be forced to get another spinner in Dom Bess. One of James Anderson and Stuart Broad may be replaced by the offie for this encounter.
When conditions are good, one should bat and even if the conditions are not in favor the teams should be looking to bat first to exert pressure on the opposition. The fourth innings will be tough and a target of 200 will find the chasing team in all sorts of problems.
If India bats first they will manage a score of around the 350 run mark and England in return might be bundled out for a score around 250. If England bats first they may score around 300 and put pressure on the Virat Kohli-led side. India may get a lead of around 50 runs in the first innings. In the second innings, England will score around 200 and India should eventually come out the victor but with some hiccups.