The turning pitch in Ahmedabad has split opinion in world cricket over what is a good surface for a Test match. While the Indians maintain there was nothing wrong with the pitch, a number of English 'experts' have offered contrasting views.
Speaking to ANI, former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar opined that the pink-ball Test did not produce good cricket. Equating the match with playing club cricket on a Saturday in England, he said:
“When we play club cricket, we will bowl a team out for under 100, and then it's difficult to chase because it's a turning pitch. I think being the biggest stadium in the world, Narendra Modi Stadium deserves longer Test matches because people want to see how good the wicket is, you look at the stadium, beautiful views, and what an amazing stadium India has produced. It does not deserve a two-day Test match that's under 900 balls, you might just play on a park if you are going to play this type of cricket.”
According to Monty Panesar, who was part of England’s 2012 Test triumph in India, turning tracks must last at least 3-3.5 days. The 38-year-old further added:
"India will probably produce a turning pitch, at least it should last for three days. The Indian people are saying England batsmen cannot play spin very well, if you take that into account, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have scored runs here, Cook has got a record as good as Matthew Hayden in India.”
ICC should dock points from India if next Test’s wicket is same: Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar went on to state that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should dock points from India if the pitch for the next Test is similar to the one in the pink-ball encounter. He said:
"I think if the next Test match is the same, then yes, the ICC should dock points. Everyone is delighted that cricket has now got the biggest stadium in the world now. At least the curator should have produced a good wicket, even if it's a turning wicket, everyone was complaining about Chennai, this was even worse."
Monty Panesar did agree though that the pink ball behaves differently from the red ball.
England captain Joe Root stated after the third Test that the behavior of the ball had quite a big impact on the Test match. Reports also stated that the Indian players were unhappy with the pink ball skidding on more than usual.
With a significant 2-1 lead, India are preparing to take on England in the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad, starting March 4.