AHMEDABAD: In the end, the words revolved around the pitch. After the Test ended there were contrasting views. While Virat Kohli called it a good pitch to bat and blamed batsmen’s technique for the slide, England captain Joe Root, on the other hand, was blunt calling the pitch "a real shame”.
In a Test where neither teams touched 150, India’s batting in the first innings would force them to think twice before they play on such pitches next time.
With a 2-1 series scoreline enough for India to make it to the World Test Championship final, it is highly unlikely that they will opt for a similar pitch for the fourth and final Test starting here on March 4. If not for Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, this pitch could have backfired too.
“The pitch didn’t do anything. A lot of the balls, batsmen got out to are the straight ball. We made a lot of mistakes as a batting unit. Pitch had nothing as such. It was a nice pitch to bat on. Once you’re in you can score, as you saw in the second innings,” Rohit said.
Unlike Chennai, where India at least found a couple of good partnerships, here they hardly found anything. “If you look at the Chennai Test. It was turning a lot more than here," said Rohit. "Batsmen got runs in the second Test. In this Test, we have to be honest to ourselves and say that we didn’t bat well. Guys applied themselves in Chennai. If you apply yourself you can score runs."
The pink ball did play its part. Unlike Chennai, here the spinners not only got turn, but the ball did a lot more after pitching too. Root attributed it to the extra coating of the pink ball, which made it to gather speed off the pitch.
“The pink ball gathered pace off the surface, and lot of those dismissals were to do with it. When the ball hit the shiny side for the spinners with that plastic cover, it skidded on. Obviously, it was a challenging surface. But we missed a golden opportunity in the first innings after being 74-2. Had we scored above 200, it could have been lot different,” Root said.
As far as the pitch goes, Root summed it up perfectly. “It is a real shame. It is a fantastic stadium and 60,000 people came to watch and I feel for them. They came here to see a James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Virat Kohli and instead they saw me taking wickets.”