Tue, 13 Apr 2021

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has launched another staunch defence of the pitches used in the current Test series against England.

The surface for the third Test in Ahmedabad, which ended in a 10-wicket win for the hosts inside two days, has come under particular fire.

Spin is set to be the order of the day again for the final match of the series at the same venue, especially as India seamer Jasprit Bumrah has withdrawn from the fourth Test citing personal reasons.

The pace bowler was expected to play a huge role in the series, his first on home soil, but has not added to the four wickets he took in a losing cause in the opening contest.

He was rested from the second game and bowled just six overs in the day-night third Test as seamers on both sides were forced into peripheral roles on a spinning pitch.

India have not added a replacement, with Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav all waiting in the wings.

Regardless of who wins out, spin is highly likely to dominate again, placing Ashwin back on centre stage.

He has taken 24 wickets in the first three matches, not to mention scoring a century with the bat in the second Test, and was in a bullish mood as he addressed criticism of the pitch in Ahmedabad. "I've said this in the past, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is that talk about the surface is getting out of hand," Ashwin said.

"Why would you talk about the surface time and again? Has there been any instance where the surface has been spoken about in any other country?

"I find it very funny that when they speak about the surface, it is immediately quoted all over the press.

"When we went to New Zealand, two Test matches were over in a total of five days.

"Nobody quoted it. In South Africa Virat (Kohli, India captain) said he was not there to talk about the pitch. That's how we're taught to play cricket.

"I don't see any of the players from England having an issue with the surface. They want to improve, they look like they want to have a better contest.

"Is it the players who are complaining about the pitches? Because we've never done that in England."

Source: News24

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