Former England opener Nick Compton has stated that even though the pitch conditions in Ahmedabad were challenging that shouldn't be an excuse for the lack of runs from the batsmen. Compton further added that Rohit Sharma and Zak Crawley proved that runs could be scored on that surface.
England suffered a total meltdown of sorts in the third Test in Ahmedabad, with the team failing to score over 200 in their two innings combined as Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel wreaked havoc. India were clearly the better side in the game, but the excessive dominance of the spinners in the Test made many former English cricketers criticize the pitch. However, Nick Compton stated that pitch conditions challenging but there were runs to be had in the third Test.
"The pitch conditions were challenging. There's no doubt. But there were still runs to be hit out there. Rohit Sharma played very well in the first innings, as did Zak Crawley. Timing on that pitch didn't seem that difficult in the sense that they scored very freely. I think what was very disappointing is that when you play against spinners, you need to play with responsibility. The most disappointing was seeing most of the wickets falling off straight deliveries by spinners," Compton told Timesofindia.com.
"The first lesson I learnt about playing spin and I will never forget (it), was when I was young. It was advised from a senior player that to play every single delivery as it is going straight. Because if it rips and turns and beats your outside edge, then you just say well bowled. If somebody turns the ball from leg stump or off stump, then let him try and do that.
"Sometimes you just have to give credit to the bowler. But my word is that you can't miss a straight ball and you can't be dismissed to a straight ball. That's what happened with English batsmen in the third Test. English batsmen didn't get their bats out in front of their front pad. So, the first line of defense has got to be your bat. A lot of the players were playing bat and pad together. You need to get your bat out in front and cover the straight line. And if the ball doesn't turn, then you play with soft enough hands," the 37-year-old cricketer said.
India needs just a win or draw to secure a berth in the World Test Championship final, while an England win will ensure Australia qualify for the mega final at the Lord's. Compton stated that India are thorough favourites to win the encounter and make it to the final.
"I think it'll be India vs New Zealand in the WTC final. India are playing in India. And, you have to back them as favourites. They are favourites to have a successful last match to make the final. If India were playing in a different country, it would be a big effort for them, but I think the fact that they're playing in India, they won the last two Test matches, I'd have to say India are firm favorites and they'll be very confident going into the last Test match," Compton told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.