India vs England 2021: Mohammad Azharuddin Suggests Batsman Wear Shoes With Rubber Soles Instead Of Spikes While Batting On Dry Pitches

India vs England 2021: Mohammad Azharuddin Suggests Batsman Wear Shoes With Rubber Soles Instead Of Spikes While Batting On Dry Pitches

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin. Image-DNA

Former India captain, Mohammad Azharuddin laments the dismal batting performance by India and England in the recently concluded day-night Test in Ahmedabad.

While the hosts did win the game by 10 wickets, but Day 2 saw India collapsing from 98/2 to all out before the English batting line-up was rocked for  81 by Axar Patel, who took his second five-for in the game, and R Ashwin, who went past 400 Test wickets.

Ollie Pope of England (BCCI)
Ollie Pope of England (BCCI)

While there are certain talks of the pitch being spin-friendly and offering turn from Day 1, Mohammad Azharuddin believes that the batsman can help themselves a bit if they opt to wear shoes with rubber soles instead of the spikes which they generally do while batting on dry pitches such as the one at the Motera.

“It was disappointing to watch the batsmen come a cropper in the Ahmedabad Test. The key to batting on such dry tracks and rank turners is shot-selection and assured footwork. It makes little sense to wear spikes when batting. Rubber soles don’t hamper the ability of batsmen,” tweeted Mohammad Azharuddin.

All tennis players wear shoes with rubber soles: Mohammad Azharuddin

Mohammad Azharuddin, who himself was a great player of spin as indicated by his average of 55 in India, reckons rubber soles should be used by the batter citing the examples of players in Tennis while playing in Wimbledon that they do not slip even with rubber sole shoes.

The 58-year-old, in a series of tweets, said that he himself has seen great batsmen such as Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Dilip Vengsarkar, and overseas ones such as Sir Viv Richards, Mike Gatting, Allan Border, Clive Lloyd bat while donning the shoes with rubber soles.

Axar Patel, Virat Kohli, India, England
Axar Patel and Virat Kohli [Image- BlCCI]
The Indian captain, Virat Kohli, opener Rohit Sharma, and several former cricketers have come in defence of the criticism of the pitch at Motera – and attributed the reason for such a short game to the poor batting display by the batsmen from both sides.

With the loss for England, Joe Root’s side is been knocked out of the race for the World Test Championship final. However, they still have a part to play – if England beat India in the fourth Test, Tim Paine’s Australia will qualify for the final, Kohli’s team needs to avoid a defeat to go through to the final and face Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at Lord’s.

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