'How many times spinners bowl with new ball?': VVS Laxman explains why Ahmedabad pitch was 'not ideal Test match wicket'
It has already been four days since the 3rd Test between India and England came to an end but the debate over the Motera pitch seems to have no end in sight. The highly-anticipated pink-ball Test between the two teams did not even last two full days as the Virat Kohli-led side won the match by 10 wickets just after Dinner on Day 2.
While some including former England captains Michael Vaughan, and Alastair Cook have criticised the surface, others including former Australia cricketer Ian Chappell and former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen have criticised the batters for not being able to find a way to bat in tough conditions.
India Test batting legend VVS Laxman believes in both points. While he agrees that the pitch was not ideal for a Test match, he added that the batsmen did not apply themselves in what were challenging conditions.
"Definitely the pitch was a very challenging one but also the application and the technique were tested as far as the batsmen are concerned. You get challenging wickets when you are playing international cricket," Laxman said on Star Sports' Cricket Connected.
"Sometimes when you go to Australia, you get a lot of cracks on the surface. When you go to England, you get seaming tracks and when you come to India or play in the subcontinent - Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or India - you expect turners.
"So I think that's when the players will be disappointed that the technique they showed against the turning ball or the application they showed to grind through the tough period was definitely not there," Laxman added.
The 46-year-old further explained why the Motera pitch was not ideal for Test match. "It was definitely not an ideal Test match wicket because how many times have we seen a spinner bowl with the new ball, and here they were playing with the pink ball also.
"I have played a lot of matches in India and we had great spinners like Bhajji and Anil Kumble but they never bowled with the new ball. I remember the minefield in Mumbai in 2004 where a spinner bowled from one end along with Zaheer Khan at the other end," Laxman said.
"The top surface should always be hard, it should be a batting wicket for the first two days and as the match proceeds in India based on the soil and the heat, the wicket will keep on breaking.
"So, it was not an ideal Test match wicket but the application and technique required from the batsmen were not seen at all," VVS Laxman signed off.