Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has joined the legion of former cricketers criticizing the pitches prepared for the India-England Test series, in which the home side is 2-1 up. Akhtar said that such pitches were not ideal for Test cricket and India is a bigger and better team than this.
Shoaib Akhtar also said that India shouldn’t be scared of losing the fourth Test match against England in Ahmedabad and produce a sporting pitch. India needs to draw or win the Test match in order to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship, to play New Zealand at Lord’s.
I Thought India Is A Bigger, Better Team Than This. They Should Prepare Fair Pitches: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar feels India is a team good enough to beat England even without getting the home advantage and banking on turning pitches. He also felt that Test matches finishing inside two days is not good for the already struggling format of five-day cricket.
“Should Test matches be played on such wickets? Not at all. A pitch where there is so much unreasonable turn, that a match gets finished in two days, is not good for Test cricket. I thought India is a bigger, better team than this. There should be fair play and fair pitches where I think India can still beat England. They don’t need to be scared. There is no need for India to prepare such wickets,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
“You play on a fair ground, fair conditions and say ‘Look, we can play well at home and abroad. So I think India must look at this thing. They are a much better team than this. You are a much better, far better side than this… playing on these kinds of pitches. I guarantee it. Take home advantage, on Day 3, 4, it’s understandable,” Akhtar added.
I Am Expecting A Fair Pitch For The Fourth Test: Shoaib Akhtar
Furthermore, Shoaib Akhtar said that he expects India to prepare a fair pitch for the upcoming fourth Test, also to be played in Ahmedabad. He once again reiterated that India is not the kind of team that would bank on pitches to work to their advantage.
“I am expecting a fair pitch for the fourth Test. India should go out there and make sure they prepare one of the best pitches for the next Test match and I am sure that you have the capacity on any pitch. You don’t need to take home advantage. Just go out there and play and I’m sure they will win the series. If India can beat Australia on their soil, they can easily win at home,” Akhtar said.
The fourth and final Test between India and England will begin on March 4 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.