Ever since India beat England in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, a lot of the talk surrounding the match has been about the nature of the pitch. The fact that it offered turn from Day 1 itself made it tricky for batsmen from both sides to negotiate and as a result, both sides suffered batting collapses at one point or the other. As such, ahead of the final Test at the same venue, India skipper Virat Kohli was asked a lot of questions about the pitch and how it would play. The captain, however, stuck to his guns.
“Let me ask you a question – do we play matches so that they last 5 days or do we play to win,” Kohli snapped back at a journalist who asked him whether India should prepare pitches that are likelier to last five days.
“I believe there is too much noise about spinning tracks and that our (Indian) media should present the view that spinning tracks are fine in the subcontinent.”
Kohli went on to say that similar questions aren’t raised on seaming tracks and that the Ahmedabad pitch was something that both side’s batsmen were unable to properly counter.
“We lost in New Zealand inside 3 days. No one said anything about the pitch back then. Our strength is we focus on ourselves and not the pitch. We need to be honest with ourselves about this narrative (of spinning tracks).
“I have no clue why the focus is so much on the ball or the pitch. Neither sides batsmen were good enough to tackle the pitch in 3rd Test. I maintain it was a case of the skill on display rather than the pitch being a bad one.”
Kohli went on to speak about what he believes needs to be done on a track that is offering plenty of assistance to bowlers in Test cricket.
“It is important to have a solid defence for tricky pitches. White-ball cricket has brought about more results even in the longer format but we need to appreciate the process of grinding out sessions and scoring at a slower pace.”
Kohli also reported that they have a full squad of players to choose from thanks to no injury issues.
“Our bench strength is very strong right now, we have no health issues in the side right now. It has gotten a bit hotter over the past few days though and that might impact the match.”