Rohit defends pitch, blames ‘poor’ batting from both s

Rohit defends pitch, blames ‘poor’ batting from both sides

The pitch didn’t do anything, says Rohit

Indian opener Rohit Sharma. Credit: PTI Photo

Perhaps, Rohit Sharma isn’t the best person to talk to about pitches, especially not after a Test match concludes close two hours before the scheduled close of play on the second day. 

After all, he surmised the conversation futile before the start of the third game against England in Motera, and insisted that he didn’t pay much heed to it with a bat in hand.

Also because he completely junked the notion of the pitch at the Narendra Modi stadium having some demons in it. Granted, a large chunk of the wickets were due to a massive deficit in technique and skill, but that didn’t mean the dust bowl wasn’t without challenge. Not to Rohit, of course. 

“The pitch didn’t do anything,” he started. “If you look at their batting, most of them got out to straight balls. And with us, we just played poorly. We lacked application and intent. The pitch had no demons in it. In fact, it was a nice pitch to bat on. Once you’re in, you can score freely, as you saw (in the second innings).”

What Rohit conveniently ignored in saying so was that India were chasing 49 runs with a session left and against a bowling attack with only one full-time spinner in Jack Leach. He and Shubman Gill stroked England out of the contest, but even then, there were signs of turn and bounce. 

“I think the Chennai wicket was far more challenging. It was turning a lot more,” he said, referring to the rank turner on offer for the second Test at the MA Chidambaram stadium. “Despite that, we got runs, the guys applied themselves very well there. I think we have to be honest with ourselves and say that we didn’t bat well instead of blaming the pitch.”  

‘Very challenging’

Surprisingly, Joe Root too veered away from blaming the pitch, not entirely at least.

“It was obviously very challenging,” said the England skipper, who was forthright in his criticism of the pitch in Chennai. “We’re bitterly disappointed with the loss. I think we missed out on an opportunity after getting to 71 for 2. 

“Had we gotten even 200 runs on board, this Test would have looked very different. Even the opposition was struggling on the wicket so that says something but they managed to do better in these conditions. Kudos to them. We can’t hide from the fact that we were outplayed.” 

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