'Give teams 3 innings': Cricketers on 3rd Test pitch

'Give the teams 3 innings!': Cricketers react to Ahmedabad's 3rd Test pitch after India demolish England in 2 days

For India, a draw in the final Test will be enough to secure a place in the WTC final against New Zealand

Indian team celebrates the dismissal of England's Joe Root on the second day of the 3rd Test between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Credit: Twitter Photo/@BCCI/via PTI

As India moved 2-1 up in the four-match Test series against England with an extraordinary 10-wicket victory inside two days, former cricket and sports lovers took to Twitter to share their views on the spin-friendly Ahmedabad pitch. 

Also read: Pitch was good, quality of batting was not: Virat Kohli over third Test against England

Although Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman said that the pitch was not ideal for Test cricket, veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believed otherwise. 

"It was not an ideal pitch for a Test match and even India collapsed...," former India batting stalwart Laxman said. He tweeted praising Axar and Ashwin as 'exceptional'.

Harbhajan, one of the four members of the Indian 400 Test wicket club, also felt the same. "It is not an ideal pitch. India would also have been in trouble if England had scored 200 in their first innings. But it (the pitch) is the same for both sides," the 40-year-old off-spinner told PTI.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had an interesting idea to play Test matches on such a pitch: "If we are going to see these pitches ... I have an answer to how it could work ... Give the Teams 3 innings !!! #INDvENG," he wrote.

Yuvraj too was critical of the pitch though he lauded the Indian bowlers for their excellent performance. "Finished in 2 days Not sure if that’s good for Test cricket !If @anilkumble1074 and @harbhajan_singh bowled on these kind of wickets they would be sitting on a thousand and 800?" he tweeted.

During the day-night third Test, India demolished England with the spinners taking all but one of the 20 opposition wickets. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel had a match haul of 11 for 70 while senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took seven wickets to reach the milestone of 400 wickets.

ALSO READ: Meet India's new 'lethal' spin king: Axar Patel

Gavaskar said the overtly defensive mindset of the batsmen was responsible for their dismissals as most of them got out to straighter deliveries. He also credited Indian spinners Ashwin and Patel for India's win rather than blaming the pitch. "It's more about the intent and application of the batsmen. It is a pitch where Rohit and Crawley hit half-centuries. England were thinking of how to survive and not how to score runs. You have to credit Axar Patel for the way he has used the odd ball that straightens. Ashwin and Axar were superb," Gavaskar said.

Former England international player Kevin Pietersen joined the criticism of the track. "To have a pitch like this for one match is fine as batsmen's skill is put to the test. But I would not like to see a pitch like this again and I think none of the other players want to see it either. Well done India," he posted.

He later posted another tweet in which he seemed to agree with Gavaskar's view on the surface. "The batting from both teams was awful! The wicket wasn't horrendous! It's just that the batting was dreadful! 21/30 wickets were from straight balls! Nothing dangerous!" he said.

Virender Sehwag joined in the Twitter meme bandwagon on the pitch.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann slammed visitors for playing just one spinner in a Test match in India where pitches are generally spin-friendly. "You cannot come to India and play just one spinner in a Test match and get away on this wicket," he said.

Former India players Irfan Pathan and Wasim Jaffer shared similar thoughts on the pitch. 

Former great Mark Waugh said that scores would have been lower in the last two Tests if Ravindra Jadeja had been playing.

England's second successive defeat dashed their hopes of reaching the final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) on home soil later this year.

For India, a draw in the final Test will be enough to secure their place in the WTC final against New Zealand. If they lose the match, also in Ahmedabad from March 4, Australia will play New Zealand in the June 18-22 contest.

(With PTI inputs)

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