Ravichandran Ashwin has questioned the integrity behind the discussion regarding the Indian turning tracks and asked who decides what a good wicket is. Ashwin further added that no one bat an eyelid when two Test matches against New Zealand in the latter’s den were over precisely in five days.
After the Ahmedabad wicket produced the shortest Test match ever since 1935, all the discussions were centred around the kind of pitch that was offered at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and not the real cricket on offer. Even though Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma defended the wicket, saying batsmen from both sides fared poorly, many former English cricketers didn’t buy that idea.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who took his 400th wicket in the Test, sealing his place among a select bunch of players, reverted back in an angry manner, asking the partial attitude to the spinning decks from the cricket pundits while no one says a word about the grassy pitches where the game ends in essentially similar period of time.
"I think I have said that in the past as well, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am not here to say that your opinion is right and it is wrong. The fact remains that the talk about the surface is getting out of hand. Why would you talk about the surface and sell that to us time and time again? Is there any instance where the pitch has been talked about this much when we have played games in other countries,” Ashwin said in a press conference in Ahmedabad.
"The bowler wins the game, the batsmen need to bat well to score runs. Who defines what a good surface is? Seam on the first day, then bat well in the next couple of days and spin on the last two days, come on, who makes these rules? We need to get over it and if you are asking whether the pitch in the third Test was a good surface, I do not see any players of England coming out and complaining. You should be hoping for a good cricket match, not the surface."
Time and again, in the past, Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have spoken about the importance of taking the pitches out of the equation and Ashwin reiterated a similar statement. Citing Kohli’s remarks in South Africa three years ago, Ashwin said India don’t crib about wickets when they get unfavorable pitches in away countries.
"I somehow find it funny that when they speak about the surface, it immediately gets quoted all over in our press and this is the issue here. There have been instances, we have been to New Zealand, where both the Tests got over in a total of five days. There is a video doing the rounds where Virat Kohli is talking in South Africa and he says I am not here to talk about the pitch. That is how we have been taught to play cricket, that's why I say let them sell thoughts, buying is our choice," he added.
"You watch a match, India wins the game, at most everyone is saying I am happy India won the game. You don't want people going back home and saying India is not winning the game, the pitch is winning the game. I do not want people to do that. I think it's important that people sell things, but we must know what we should buy," the legendary Tamil Nadu spinner added.
India need at least a draw to book their date in the World Test Championship final as a loss would mean Australia qualifying for the Lord's game against New Zealand. However, Ashwin stated that India would like to want the Test as the team never go into a Test, looking to draw the match.
"We play with the intent to win most often, that's what we speak about as a group. You never go into a game looking to draw the game as a safer option. We will look to win the game," said Ashwin. (ANI)