'We play on seaming tracks when we go overseas, game finishes in 3-4 days,' Cheteshwar Pujara on Chennai pitch debate
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara opened up on the debate regarding the pitch at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai which sprung up during the 2nd Test between India and England. Former renowned cricketers Michael Vaughan and Mark Waugh took to Twitter to criticise the pitch, which provided a great assistance to spin bowlers.
India won the 2nd Test against England easily by 317 runs - with R Ashwin proving to be the hero with both bat and the ball. Pujara was questioned on the criticism of the pitch ahead of the 3rd Test which will be played at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad starting from Thursday, and he said that India, too, play on seaming tracks when they travel overseas.
"Sometimes you know when you are playing on a turning track, you find it difficult but at the same time, it was not a dangerous pitch at all. When the ball spins you know people find it difficult to score runs, especially the overseas teams. When we go overseas and we play on seaming tracks, the game finishes in three or four days. We still have to play on such wickets where there is a lot of grass or seam movement," Pujara told reporters during a virtual press conference, as quoted by news agency ANI.
"In turning tracks, one cannot define how much the ball can spin. It is a very thin line in that way. I do not think it was a bad pitch, it always becomes difficult in the second innings, this is how it is. When we play in Australia, there are cracks on day four and five, it is a little dangerous, the oddball hits the crack and it might take off. As a team I do not think we had any issues, once opposition teams start playing more on these pitches, they will be fine," he added.
Speaking on the upcoming Day/Night Test against England, Pujara said: "We have played just one day-night game in India and it was with the SG ball. Domestic games which I have played were with the kookaburra ball. To be honest, it is difficult to predict whether you can keep the grass cover. It is an important game for us to qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship, we will try to focus on the game."
"Even I have played so many Tests, but with the pink ball, I also don't have much experience. I do not think experience matters a lot when you are playing the one-off game with the pink-ball in a series.
"As we keep playing more, we will get used to it. It is just Test cricket, we will have to play normal cricket. As a team, we have certain goals as a batting and bowling unit, we will stick to them. The next two Tests are very important for us, we will like to stick to our game plans," he signed off.