India vs England: 'Some extreme criticism not really fair,' Sunil Gavaskar weighs in on Ahmedabad pitch debate
If there were a few disagreements over the pitch after the 2nd Test between India and England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the 3rd Test between the two teams at Motera Stadium has caused a full-fledged debate over the pitch and the playing conditions. The five-day contest did not last even two full days as the Virat Kohli-led side won the match just after the Dinner break by 10 wickets on Day 2.
In spite of being played with the pink-ball under lights, the Ahmedabad pitch proved to be a turner, as India spinners Axar Patel and R Ashwin wreaked havoc, helping the hosts to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match Test series.
While various cricketers including former England cricketer Michael Vaughan, Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, and David Lloyd have questioned the pitch, there are others such as Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Atherton, and Nasser Hussain, who did not blame the pitch, but instead questioned England's tactics and batting in the match.
On being asked about the same, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said that some of the "extreme criticism" of the pitch is not "really fair".
"It’s a free world. They are entitled to their opinions. When you look at some of the more sober criticisms, you realise that some of the extreme criticism is not really fair," Gavaskar told The Indian Express.
"As you say, Geoffrey, Nasser, and, Athers have spoken fairly. The rest of the criticism is not really worth taking your headphones off to listen to," Gavaskar added.
On being asked to give his "honest assessment" on the pitch, Gavaskar said: "It was not a pitch where the ball was misbehaving constantly. Nothing was kicking up alarmingly.
"Neither was there any great invariable bounce that the ball would shoot. Here, the bounce was actually true, almost. Yes, there was spin but Test match batsmen should be able to handle the turn or the straighter ones.
"Challenging, but not treacherously challenging. If you look at the dismissals, the batsmen have contributed to their own downfall. More than the pitch, it was about the mindset which did them in. Rohit Sharma’s batting in both innings showed you could score runs on this pitch," he signed off.