West Indian batting legend and former captain Viv Richards has joined the Ahmedabad pitch debate. Lashing off the raging criticism of the strip, Viv Richards called for a cease on "moaning and groaning" and asked the England batsmen to prepare better for what's in front of them.
The spinners-dominated 3rd Test finished within 2 days as both teams failed to cross even 150 in the match. Since then, while some experts have outright discredited the pitch as poor, others have held the batters responsible for the dismal outing.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Viv Richards leaned on the latter rationale. He was happy to see Indian pitches behaving the classic way and said the batsmen should have anticipated this before coming to 'spin land'.
"I just believe all the moaning and groaning has got to stop and just not see the classical side of things in terms of Indian armory. And from where I'm sitting, it's good to see," said Viv Richards.
Viv Richards, who played 121 Tests and 187 ODIs, said spinning conditions are just the flip side of seaming and bouncing conditions. Richards remarked that similar to how batters from around the world cope with excessive bounce, England batsmen should adapt to turn and grip in India.
"...I just felt that the ones who are moaning, in my opinion, should realise that there are times that you're going to get a seaming track, a ball that is basically jumping off a good length and everyone thinks that's a problem for batters. There are times batters sometimes cope with that.
"But now you've seen the other side, and this is why I think it was given the name Test match cricket, because of the test of the mind and will and everything else that goes with it when you're competing. And the complaints have been that the wicket is spinning too much and all that sort of stuff. This is another side of the coin guys. People seem to forget that if you're going to India, you should expect that. You are going to spin land. You should basically prepare yourself to know what you're going to encounter," said Viv Richards.
"England have been taken out of their comfort zone" - Viv Richards
Viv Richards further said England should look at the extended time before the final Test as an opportunity to assess things and mend their problems.
"Rather than the moaning and groaning, especially just recently how quickly that Test match was over, it gives England an opportunity and a chance to assess things, to believe that for some reason the wicket that they're going to encounter in the fourth Test is going to be the same. If I was India or I had anything to do with the preparations of the wicket, I would bring in very much the same."
Finally, Viv Richards opined that the visitors had been taken out of their "comfort zone" after the first Test match. Pointing to the remarkable performances by India's pace battery in recent years, he said it's time for England to do the same when it comes to bowling and playing spin.
"Ever since that first Test match, England were in their comfort zone. They have now been taken out of their comfort zone at present and they have got to find ways and means to cope with what they are going to encounter. Spin in all parts of the game, this is what a Test match brings. The Indian pacers have been brilliant over the past few years in terms of substance, wicket-taking ability and stuff like that. But now that you're in India, you are going to encounter things and have got to find a way. You're going to get dirty. There is nothing in the rule book that says I’ve got to score my runs in pretty, classical ways."
The final Test of the series will kick off on March 4.