Amid the backlash over Ahmedabad’s pitch due to a two-day finish of the third Test between India and England, former left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has slammed the critics. The inaugural Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium witnessed three innings completed within a couple of days as India bundled out the visitors for 81 and 112 to win by ten wickets. Pragyan Ojha believes that the batsmen could have done well on a competitive pitch.
While England managed 112 in their first innings and stumbled to Axar Patel’s six-wicket haul, India crumbled to spin-bowling too after a relatively comfortable start. From finishing on 99-3 on the first day, the hosts ended on 145 as visiting captain Joe Root picked up a maiden fifer in Test cricket. India’s spinners shot out the Englishmen for 81 in the second innings, leaving themselves 49 to get for a 2-1 series lead.
Pragyan Ojha claimed that batsmen from both sides could have done well and why the question arises about the pitch only when spinners take wickets. The 34-year old feels that no debate gets triggered when seamers run through the batting line-up or in case there are 400-plus totals. Ojha hit back at the critics questioning the deck only when the ball spins.
“It was a competitive wicket, batsmen could have done better but whenever spinners do well why this question, why not when seamers get those wickets. Why not when a batsman gets a 400 or 300. Everybody starts talking about ‘it’s a world record’, they start talking about ‘oh the bowlers swung the ball so well’. When spinners start turning the ball, everybody is like ‘what’s happening with the wicket'” Ojha told Sports Today.
Yes, it was not the finish which we wanted: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha further agreed that it was not the finish they all expected; however, one has to think about the batsmen, who could have shown better application and better equipped to the conditions.
“Yes, it was not the finish which we wanted but we also have to talk about the batsmen, they should have applied themselves and they should get used to different kinds of conditions,” he added.