Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has lambasted the critics of the pitch dished during the third Test match in Ahmedabad, stating that he is not ready to agree to the fact that the track was unplayable to bat on.
With the third Test between India and England ending in under two days, the pitch has come under criticism from the English press and its ex-cricketers, with the likes of Michael Vaughan labeling it as ‘rubbish’, ‘lottery’, and a poor advertisement for Test match cricket.
Pietersen, however, reckoned that it the inability of the batsmen to counter the conditions that made the pitch look unplayable. He also added that the pitches in India are always going to turn.
“Yes, the surface at Ahmedabad ensured that the ball was always likely to dominate in the third Test. But I’m just not having this nonsense about the pitch being unplayable. I’m not having it. The batting from both sides was absolutely dreadful,” Kevin Pietersen wrote in his column for Betway.
Pietersen also reminded the English fans and ex-cricketers like Michael Vaughan that he has batted on pitches in England that are virtually impossible to bat given the amount of grass they sometimes boast of.
“England players and fans can talk about the pitch, but I’ve played on pitches in England that have had so much grass, on that batting is virtually impossible. You have to play the conditions,” Kevin Pietersen added.
In Ahmedabad, 28 of the 30 wickets fell to the spinners and most of them came against balls that did not turn.
Pietersen wrote that while batting on a turner or a seamer-friendly track, the basic fundamental that batsmen have to follow is to protect the stumps, which most of them failed to do in Ahmedabad.
“As a batsman, you guard against the straight deliveries. That should be your No. 1 priority. If it beats you on the outside edge, that’s no problem. If you get a really good ball that you just cannot play – like Shane Warne’s famous deliveries to Mike Gatting and Andrew Strauss, and even Moeen Ali to Virat Kohli in this series – then that is what it is,” Kevin Pietersen stated.
”It’s the same when facing seamers. You might get beaten on the outside, and you might occasionally nick an unplayable one, but you’ve got to be able to defend your stumps when they try and beat you on the inside. That’s fundamental. So it was very disappointing to see 21 wickets fall to straight deliveries from spinners in this match,” he added.
The former England captain signed off by claiming that the visitors could have won the game if they had batted better on the first day.
After having won the toss and chosen to bat first, England were going along nicely at 2/74 before a horrendous collapse saw them lose their last eight wickets for 38 runs.
“England could have won this Test match if they’d batted better on day one, there’s no doubt about it. They had a great chance to be leading this series 2-1. It’s been frustrating to hear so much debate about the pitch when the relatively simple skill of blocking straight balls was absent,” Kevin Pietersen concluded.