England Skipper Joe Root during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.((ANI Photo/ECB Twitter))
England Skipper Joe Root during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.((ANI Photo/ECB Twitter))

‘Please talk about Stuart Broad's 8 for 15, What kind of a wicket was that’: Ojha slams criticism of 3rd Test pitch

  • Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook have criticised the pitch in the third Test.
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:37 AM IST

There has been a lot of talk about the pitches during the ongoing four-match Test series between India and England. After India won the second Test in Chennai, many former cricketers criticised the Chepauk pitch for being a rank turner. India batsmen managed to score 329 and 286 in both the innings in Chennai but England were unable to withstand the onslaught from the Indian spinners.

All the attention turned towards the pink ball Test in Ahmedabad and England decided to play three seamers for the third Test match. But it proved to be a blunder as the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium assisted the spinners.

Axar Patel wreaked havoc as he picked up 11 wickets in the third Test that finished in just 2 days. India took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series after their 10-wicket thrashing of England in Ahmedabad. But the talk about the pitch hasn’t gone away.

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Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook have criticised the pitch in the third Test. But the wicket in Motera has been defended by former India spinner Pragyan Ojha, who said that people start criticising the pitch as soon as ‘it starts turning and bouncing’.

"Please talk about Stuart Broad's 8 for 15, the wicket that he was bowling on in that match. What kind of a wicket was that? If the Test finishes in 2 or 3 days in seaming conditions where there is grass that's absolutely fine. But the moment it starts turning and bouncing, that's when you say it's not a 5-day wicket or a Test-match wicket," Ojha said on Sports Today.

"Definition of a Test match is - you have to be tested on any surface. It is not written that you will be tested on seaming track and not on tracks which is assisting the spinners."

"Our bowlers were brilliant but if you see the line and length, every ball that Ashwin and Axar were bowling it was hitting the stumps. When you're playing on a turning or seaming track, when you see the ball jumping and turning, it is easy for you to get distracted.

"But our bowlers, they focussed on the line and length, that's when you get the LBW and that's when the ball which turns away or comes in will be more effective," Ojha concluded.

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