Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More feels that there was nothing unfair about the Chennai pitch for the second Test. According to him, India won because they played better cricket than England on a spinning and bouncing track.
The Chennai pitch for the second Test was a matter of massive debate as the surface offered turn and bounce from the first day itself. A few former England cricketers even deemed it unfit for Test cricket.
Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, More pointed out that India scored runs on the same Chennai pitch, so there was no reason for anyone to complain. Reacting to India’s win, he said:
“When you look at this Test, Rohit (Sharma) got 161. We got 300-plus. In the second innings also, Ravichandran Ashwin got a hundred. When two people score hundreds, nobody should complain. Definitely there was turn. When you go to England and Australia, there is bounce and seam movement. We don’t complain, we have to play with that. This is Test cricket. When England won the first Test, nobody complained. India batted on the last day, and the ball was carrying dust. It was turning, jumping and keeping low. India lost, and nobody complained about it. Second Test India won, and everyone started complaining about it. You cannot blame the Chennai pitch here.”
More gave credit to both India’s batsmen and bowlers for the win on a tricky Chennai pitch. The 58-year-old added:
“Ashwin batted brilliantly. Full marks to Rohit Sharma as well. Then, the bowlers did their job. England should have batted well in the first innings. They should have got 260-270. But, they got out to a few poor shots. Full marks to the Indian bowlers the way they bowled in this Test match. Axar Patel made a marvellous debut. And Ashwin, playing at his home ground, he took full advantage of that and bowled superbly. He is one of the best spinners in world cricket, and he is going to go lots of wickets for India.”
Chennai pitch was something India wanted: More
The former stumper admitted that the Chennai pitch favored India more than England, with the kind of spinners they possessed. More, however, stated that preparing a pitch to your advantage is not enough to win a Test, and that India executed their plans very well. He elaborated:
"In the first Test, England took a lot of chances with sweeps and reverse sweeps. They tried to do the same in this Test as well. But, this Chennai pitch was slightly different than the first Test match. This wicket had lot of bounce. The good length area was not rolled. India wanted a pitch like this. They got it and we played with a plan. You cannot go blindly to win a Test match. They batted very well on the first day. They could have got 400 but the last four batters did not get runs. We allowed them to comeback. But, in the second innings, we batted brilliantly again. Ashwin’s hundred was crucial.”
With the four-match series squared 1-1, India and England will next meet in Ahmedabad for the Day-Night Test, starting February 24.