If you’ve just tuned in, India’s thumping 10-wicket win over England in the third Test at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad was met with mixed reactions and raised eyebrows from the cricket world.
On one hand, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin received praises for wreaking havoc and handing India a comprehensive win taking them 2-1 in the four-match series and then there was a lot of chatter around the pitch that, according to some, heavily assisted the spinners right from the commencement of the match.
Amid all the hullabaloo around the Motera pitch increasing by the minute, India opener Rohit Sharma has come out with a cheeky Instagram post. The post has a picture of Rohit pondering over something.
You may wonder what’s bothering Sharma. Of course, the pitch!
His caption in the now-viral capture read: “Wondering what the pitch would be like for 4th Test.”
Sharma’s post instantly lit up Indian social media and Instagram as fans from the country called the hitman savage.
“Savage Rohit Sharma,” wrote one.
“Pitch doesn’t matter for hitman,” chimed another.
“You are scoring runs no matter what.”
“He is taunting someone.”
“To be honest I didn’t do anything different. On a pitch like that, you need to have intent. You need to look to score as well, you can’t just keep blocking. The odd ball might just turn, skid on to the stumps if you play for the turn. It’s important to use your feet, try and do as many things as possible to stay ahead of the bowler’s mindset. You need to make sure that you try and find ways to score runs,” said Rohit Sharma in the press conference.
Ashwin, who starred with the ball in the Third Test, shared similar sentiments.
“I have a question back. What is a good cricket surface? The bowlers want to win the game. The batsman needs to bat well to get runs. No question about it. What makes a good surface? Who defines this? Seam on the first day and then bat well and then spin on the last two days,” Ashwin said during a virtual media interaction.
Former England cricketers, as well as current commentators from around the world, said the pitch did not offer up a fair contest between bat and ball. However, many in India have stated that this is just how pitches are in the subcontinent.
It is a view echoed in a way by Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who said that people never seem to have an issue with wickets that assist seam bowling yet criticise pitches that offer turn.
“I was up all night watching it. It was absolutely brilliant. I’m thinking about bringing that curator out to the SCG,” Lyon said.
“We play on seaming wickets around the world and get bowled out for 47, 60. Nobody ever says a thing (about the pitch). But as soon as it starts spinning, everyone in the world seems to start crying about it.
“I don’t get it. I’m all for it, it was entertaining.”