While several former England cricketers have condemned the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium, spin-bowler Graeme Swann has a different take on it. The pink-ball Test between India and England hosted at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad witnessed the match finish within two days. The visitors managed totals of 112 and 81, with India cantering to victory by ten wickets. Graeme Swann hopes that his countrymen do not complain about the deck and instead work on their spin-technique.
Both India and England struggled against spin-bowling as spinners accounted for the majority of wickets to fall. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel picked up 11 wickets in the match, while the tourists’ pick of the bowlers was their captain Joe Root, snapping five scalps in the first innings. But the English batsmen lost out on the run-making aspect as a first-innings total of 200 could have proved handy.
Graeme Swann hopes that an honest conversation transpires in England’s dressing room – one without complaints about the pitch. Swann, who was part of the squad that won the 2012-13 series in India, reminded that the track was the same for both teams. Thus, he reckons that his countrymen must improve batting against spin as a similar pitch at the same venue is awaiting them next week in the fourth Test. The former off-spinner advises that England must accept they were outplayed and avoid accusations about a turning deck.
“Well, I hope it’s a very honest conversation and what they have to get away from, if they are, is to talk about the pitch. I know there is a lot of talk back in England, a lot of people saying ‘oh the pitch this, the pitch that’. The pitch is the same for both teams. England played well for half of this game, with the ball, but India just bowled better in the second innings. They are going to get a very similar wicket to play on next week. There are no two ways about it, England have to be better. They cannot afford to make the same mistakes.They cannot afford to hide behind accusations that the pitch is turning too much. It’s nonsense,” Swann told Star Sports.
Virat Kohli worked his socks off to make sure his game could cope with Jimmy Anderson: Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann further stated that India hardly complains about seaming decks when they visit England and instead, they try and improve. The 41-year old reminded that his countrymen must play against Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel out of their skin like Virat Kohli did against James Anderson in England.
“When India come to England, they play on green seaming decks and India don’t complain about it, they try and improve. Virat Kohli worked his socks off to make sure his game could cope with Jimmy Anderson on a nibbling wicket. England will have to work their socks off to cope with Ashwin and more importantly Axar Patel,” he added.