India don’t complain about playing on green decks: Swann on pitch criticism

Written by Vipin Darwade

England’s defeat in the third Test against India in Ahmedabad within two days has led to several former England cricketers talking about the quality of the pitch at the Narendra Modi stadium.

The visitors were bundled out for 112 and 81 in consecutive days as India completed a 10-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. A total of 17 wickets fell on the second day.

However, former England spinner Graeme Swann, who was part of the team that won a series in India in 2012-13, feels that Joe Root’s team cannot hide behind accusations and instead should focus on working harder on their game against spin.

“Well, I hope it’s a very honest conversation (in the England dressing room after the loss) and what they have to get away from, if they are, is to talk about the pitch. I know there is a lot of talk back in England, a lot of people saying ‘oh the pitch this, the pitch that’. The pitch is the same for both teams.

“England played well for half of this game, with the ball, but India just bowled better in the second innings. They are going to get a very similar wicket to play on next week. There are no two ways about it, England have to be better. They cannot afford to make the same mistakes.They cannot afford to hide behind accusations that the pitch is turning too much. It’s nonsense,” Swann said in the post-match show Cricket Live on host broadcasters Star Sports.

He went on to add that when India visit England, they are made to play on green wickets that aid seam bowling but the Indians don’t complain about it.

“When India come to England, they play on green seaming decks and India don’t complain about it, they try and improve. Virat Kohli worked his socks off to make sure his game could cope with Jimmy Anderson on a nibbling wicket. England will have to work their socks off to cope with Ashwin and more importantly Axar Patel,” Swann said.

England lost 19 out of their 20 wickets in the match to spinners. Axar Patel picked up 11 wickets, while Ravichandran Ashwin accounted for 7 wickets. Washington Sundar picked up a solitary wicket while paceman Ishant Sharma picked up a wicket in the first innings.

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Vipin Darwade