Sunil Gavaskar has shared his views on the Chennai pitch for the second India-England Test. The former India captain asked those denouncing the surface to quit complaining, suggesting challenging pitches are an integral part of Test cricket.
The pitch in Chennai has come under scrutiny after the English batsmen failed to cope with the turn. Many suggested the surface favors India too much, with the puffy rank turner being the perfect surface for the hosts' spinners.
Speaking on Star Sports before the start of Day 3, Sunil Gavaskar had a differing view. He asked everyone to stay balanced while judging the conditions.
"It's not unplayable. It's a challenging pitch, and that's what cricket should be about. In the first Test, on the first two days, when nothing was happening, people were saying 'it's boring, nothing is happening. It's so easy to bat.' So, there has to be a bit of balance between what is said. You cannot be complaining all the time," Gavaskar said.
The surface has been criticized for being overtly friendly to the slower bowlers. With puffs of dust visible from Day 1, patches on the pitch have aided spinners from both sides. In the first innings, a total of 14 wickets were picked up by the spinners.
Conversing with Mark Butcher during the pre-match show, Sunil Gavaskar pointed out how people only find fault with conditions when the pitch starts to turn.
"Some of them are saying that - but you have a seeming pitch in England. Australia get dismissed for 46 - the ball keeps seeming all throughout. No one talks about that. It's always about Indian pitches, and when the ball starts to turn, people pose a problem," Gavaskar added.
"If the pitch was impossible, nobody would have scored 330" - Sunil Gavaskar
India scored 329 in their first innings, with Rohit Sharma's 161-run knock being the highlight. Sunil Gavaskar claimed the pitch can’t be called unplayable if the hosts made nearly 330.
"Yes. One or two who we know who don't like India, who don't like England, so they always be having a go at India and England, so that's fine. We ignore them because we know the double standards. But basically, we saw with Rohit Sharma's innings, if the pitch was impossible, nobody would have scored 330," said Sunil Gavaskar.
Although the pitch has been a hot topic of discussion over the first three days, many argued India have handled conditions much better than England.
The hosts scored 329 in the first innings, while England could only manage 134. Players like Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were rewarded for digging their heels in and spending time at the crease. However, the majority of the English batsmen, barring Ben Foakes, struggled to cope with the testing conditions.