Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has reckoned that India shouldn't be scared and should prepare good wickets as they don't need to prepare these rank turners to win. He also added the Kohli-led India are a better and bigger side than this and can beat England on any sort of wicket.
The ongoing Test series between India and England has been headlined by the nature of the pitches produced in the series. The criticism had started coming right after the second Test as India had produced a rank turner after a long time which had left England completely clueless. But the pitch talks reached it's peak after the third Test as the game finished well inside two days and none of the teams could even score 150 runs in the first three innings of the game. India went on to win the game quite easily though as they won the Test by 10 wickets and took a lead of 2-1 in the series.
Former Pakistan fast bowler and one of the popular cricket Youtubers, Shoaib Akhtar, has come hard at India and remarked that they are a far better team than producing wickets which aren't fair by any means. He also added that India can win on any sort of surface like the recent Test series Down Under exemplified and they don't need to produce helpful pitches.
"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. Did we make the wicket in favour of India in Adelaide? Was the wicket in Melbourne made in favour of India? How did they win the series there? You play on fair ground, fair conditions and say 'Look, we can play well at home and abroad'," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel, reported HT.
He also quipped that matches getting finished inside two days isn't good for the game and there was an excessive turn in Ahmedabad. Akhtar feels India went too far in the pursuit of using the home advantage in their favour.
"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 understand the concept of home advantage but this sort of advantage I believe is a little too much. If India had scored 400 runs and England got out for 200, then one could say that England played poorly. But here, even India was shot out for 145."
The Pakistan cricket pundit urged India to prepare fair wickets and also asserted if they can beat Australia away from home, then beating England at home should be a cakewalk, no matter what.
"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. But unfortunately, over here, if Joe Root is getting wickets."
"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.