Having top scored in the low-scoring third Test between India and England with 66 and 25* in either innings, Rohit Sharma defended the pitch despite a two-day finish, calling it a ‘normal, typical Indian wicket’. The pitch was the centre of attention once again after the game finished a little while after dinner on Day 2, India emerging winners by 10 wickets.
Rohit said there were no demons on the pitch and called it a good wicket to bat on.
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“To be honest I didn’t do anything different. On a pitch like that, you need to have intent. You need to look to score as well, you can’t just keep blocking. The odd ball might just turn, skid on to the stumps if you play for the turn. It’s important to use your feet, try and do as many things as possible to stay ahead of the bowler’s mindset. You need to make sure that you try and find ways to score runs,” Rohit Sharma said in the press conference.
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“My intent was not to just survive, but also try and score runs while respecting the good balls.
“The pitch was an interesting one, the odd ball was coming in and some were taking turn. You need to bat with a clear mindset, which I did until I played that sweep shot in the first innings.
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“Honestly speaking the pitch didn’t do anything. If I can recollect, lot of the balls the batters got out to was to straighter deliveries. We also didn’t bat well, not just them. The pitch had nothing, no demons as we call. It was a nice pitch to bat on.
“Once you’re in, you can score runs as well. You just need to apply and keep concentrating, and score runs.”
“Not really,” when asked if modern day batsmen’s technique against spin has dipped. “If you look at the Chennai Test, it was turning a hell of a lot than what it did here. A lot of batsmen got runs there. We need to be honest to ourselves and accept that we didn’t bat well.
“No yaar, not really,” he said when asked if the dismissals were because of the pitch. “If you look at the 30 wickets to fall, I don’t see anything that the pitch did. Batsmen didn’t apply technique. It was not just them (England), but us also. Some of the shots we played were not up to the standards. The pitch was completely fine. According to me it was a very normal pitch, a typical Indian wicket where it will turn, the odd ball might come in. That’s what an Indian wicket is all about”
“It was more about shot selection – which ball was coming in, whether we can play the cut shot, the sweep shot.”
Rohit said the pitch in the second Test in Chennai turned a lot more than the one at Ahmedabad.
“The Chennai pitch turned a lot more than this. We applied ourselves there, Ashwin got a 100, Ajinkya got a fifty, Virat got 60 odd in the second innings. If you apply yourselves, you can still score runs. We accept as a batting unit we didn’t bat well in this Test. The ball actually didn’t spin, most batters got out to straight balls, we need to rectify those things,” he explained.
“In Chennai, there was a rough. Here there was no rough, Axar was getting wickets with balls that was skidding onto the pads and the batsmen just missed the line. We did the same. It wasn’t up to the skills that we have.
“It’s a good learning for the batsmen, we can understand from this. We’ve not played spin so much with the pink ball. Whenever we play the next, we’ll be very well equipped to handle that.”
India captain Virat Kohli too had defended the pitch at the post match presentation.
“To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams,” he said at the post match presentation.
“They were bundled out…and lack of application from both sides. The ball was coming on nicely yesterday and the odd ball was turning. It was a very good wicket to bat on. But the batting was below-par from both sides. It was bizarre that out of 30 wickets, 21 was to straight balls. It was down to lapse of concentration or playing for turn and beating on the inside.”