India off-spinner Ashwin Ravichandran on Saturday said that the talk around the pitches being used in the ongoing Test series against England is “getting out of hand.”
India edged ahead in the four-match series with a 10-wicket win over England in the third Test at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, and a major talking point in the match was the pitch which offered sharp turn from day one.
While several former England cricketers questioned the nature of the Ahmedabad pitch, Ashwin questioned the narrative that is emerging.
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“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,” said Ashwin in a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“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.
“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.”
Ashwin said that the talk around the pitch is unnecessary and there is no set rule on how a cricket pitch should behave over the course of a Test match.
“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,” he said.
Ashwin also cited a press conference of Virat Kohli during a South Africa tour where the India captain refused to blame the pitch for the results.
“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, similar to the tweets he had put out on Friday.
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The 34-year-old off-spinner, who has become second-fastest to 400 Test wickets, tweeted about “ideas being sold” to form public opinion.
“I am not disturbed with things being taken out of context. That is what has been happening for the last decade, if not more. That is why I put out the tweets I did yesterday. People need to get the context and what is happening,” said Ashwin.
“There have been people messaging me that the match has finished in two days. Every pink-ball game we have played has ended within three days. I do not know what to say, unfortunately, many people have not played the pink-ball game, so they will not understand this facet of the game.
“My angst against the whole thing is that someone says one thing, there are so many people watching the same picture but are not able to paint a different one as compared to someone who is driving a certain case and selling a certain case to us. This needs to stop,” he added.
Talking about the visibility of the pink-ball, Ashwin said: “I do not think there is any issue about citing the pink ball. The way it skidded is how it skidded. I cannot explain, but a few micro-seconds make a big difference.
“If it is going to skid on even a fraction of a second quicker, then there is a chance of batsmen getting an inside edge. It is quite different, to make an adjustment within a span of five-six days is not easy, the more we play, the players will get better.”
Watch Ashwin’s full press conference here: