Sunil Gavaskar dismissed the criticism surrounding the Ahmedabad pitch for the day-night pink-ball Test that concluded within two days. The Indian cricket legend cited the example of Rohit Sharma’s batting and stated the Mumbai batsman showed everyone how to score on the perceived ‘diabolical’ surface.
Rohit Sharma led India’s charge with 66 and 25 not out as India thrashed England by 10 wickets to secure a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. The defeat also shut the door on England’s chances of making the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final.
Speaking exclusively to the Indian Express, Sunil Gavaskar stated that a batsman should be good enough to handle the turn or the straighter ones at the Test level.
“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,” said Sunil Gavaskar, one of India’s best batsmen.
England batsmen body language was disappointing: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar further lashed out at the England batsmen’s body language and compared it to their Indian counterparts. Gavaskar feels that except for Joe Root, all other England batters came out to bat looking as if they had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
“The disappointing thing was the body language of the England batsmen. A couple of Indians were in total contrast to that. When Rohit Sharma comes out to bat, it’s as if he is taking his wife and daughter to the beach. Nice and relaxed.
“Similarly, Virat Kohli comes out like a top cop trying to arrest someone who has done some mischief. On the other hand, England’s batsmen were coming out to bat, looking as if they had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
"And worse still, they batted as if their hands were still in the cookie jar. The exception to that was their captain Joe Root,” added Gavaskar, the first cricketer to breach the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket.
Several cricketers and pundits worldwide have criticised the surface at Ahmedabad, whereas Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton, and Geoffery Boycott haven’t. Hitting back at the extreme criticism, Gavaskar stated:
“When you look at some of the more sober criticisms, you realise that some of the extreme criticism is not really fair. 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!”
The final Test of the series will also be held at the same venue in Ahmedabad. India need a win or a draw to secure a berth in the WTC final, which will be played at Lord’s later this year.