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22 Nov 2020
India’s premier bowler Ravichandran Ashwin who reached a special milestone in the last Test against was irked by members of English media who kept on asking him the questions around the quality of pitch that was used in the Motera Test.
He was asked if the pitch at Motera was a good one and whether the surface allowed a fair contest between the bat and ball. Clearly irked by too many questions on the narrative around the quality of the pitch, Ashwin asked a counter-question on what defines a good Test pitch and who gets to decide the quality of a pitch. The journalist from the UK was relentless, and he asked once again.
Ashwin too was not to give up the fight and shot back by putting the onus of scoring runs and taking the game deep into the third and fourth day on batsmen, instead of bashing the quality of the pitch.
"Yes, of course. The bowlers want to win the game. The batsman needs to bat well to get runs. No question about it. What makes a good surface? Who defines this? Seam on the first day and then bat well and then spin on the last two days? Come on! Who makes all these rules, we need to get over it and not talk about whatever picture you want to paint,” Ashwin shot back at the journalist from one of the publishers from the UK.
“If you're asking if it is a good Test surface, I don't see any of the players coming from England having an issue with the surface. They want to improve, they look like they want to have a contest. Is it the players and the people who are reporting back that want their players to not complete and complain about the pitches? Because we have never done that on any of the tours."
"I'm absolutely not disturbed with things being taken away from the context because this is what's been happening for the last decade, if not more. That is why I put out the tweets that I did. I think people need to get the context of what's happening here. There have been some people who have messaged me and said the match has finished in two days. What about all the three pink-ball Test matches we've played, everything's ended within three days' time,” Ashwin said.
"I do not know what to say because when somebody just throws an opinion out there about the surface - and having had played the game - unfortunately maybe they've not played the pink-ball Test matches, so they do not understand this facet of the game. My angst against the whole thing is the fact that when people say something there are so many of them who are watching the same picture but are not able to paint a different one compared to somebody who is driving and selling a certain case to us and this needs to stop."
Notably, the third Test between India and England ended inside two days with batsmen from both sides failing to read the amount of spin, and natural variations that were on offer off the pitch. India’s left-arm spinner Axar Patel picked up an 11 wicket haul in the Test, while Ashwin himself picked seven wickets across two innings, and in the process went past the 400-wickets mark in the longest format of the game.