English head coach Chris Silverwood has revealed that he will be sitting down with Joe Root and make a decision whether to complain about the third Test pitch to the ICC or not. The pink-ball Test turned out to be the shortest Test match since 1935, finishing well inside two days.
Ever since the series has commenced, the pitches have been a central point of discussion. Be it the flat deck in the Test series opener, the square turner in the second game or the day-night pitch. The third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium finished well inside two days as neither of the teams could score even 150 in their respective innings. Ultimately, India won the game comfortably by 10 wickets. But, the standard of the pitch has been in question ever since.
English head coach Chris Silverwood has revealed that he will decide whether to complain about the pitch to the ICC or not after discussing it with the English skipper Joe Root. He reckoned that the pitch pushed the sides to the extremes.
“We will be talking about certain things behind the scenes. We are disappointed that we are sat here when there should be three days of cricket left. I am sure a few spectators are as well. At the same time, whatever the pitch did or didn’t do, India ultimately played better than us on that surface. But it probably pushed us to the extremes of what most of our players, if any, have experienced,” Silverwood said, reported Cricbuzz.
He also emphasized the need to get better as a side on such decks as he felt in the first innings, England could have put more runs on the board.
“Joe and I have to have a sit down, have a conversation and see where we go with it. We do have to get better on these pitches and we do have to accept there’s places where we could have improved, look at the first innings we had an opportunity there to score more runs.”
When asked whether touring teams just have to embrace whatever comes their way in terms of pitches and move on when they tour, he quipped, “I’m not saying we’ve just got to accept things, I’m just saying at this moment in time I’ve not got anything to add. Not in a position to say what we should or shouldn’t do, it’s a conversation between myself and Joe at the moment.”
The 45-year-old also pointed out that not only his team’s batsmen but even the Indians struggled as such was the surface.
“Let’s not forget they lost eight wickets for 47 runs. A little bit of perspective here, it’s not just our batters that struggled. On surfaces where one spins and one doesn’t, it’s quite difficult for them to play. It’s proved the amount of LBWs and bowleds that both sides have had, it’s not been easy at all. I can imagine both teams are talking about the same sort of thing,” he said.
However, he also credited the Indian spinners R Ashwin and Axar Patel, who were nothing short of phenomenal in the third Test win for India.
“But we’ve got to give their spinners some credit here. [Ravichandran] Ashwin’s a world-class spinner. So firstly we’re against a class act there. And secondly I thought [Axar] Patel was very accurate. And when some balls turn and some balls don’t, it’s difficult. But equally we’ve got to find a way because if we see it again, we’ve got to be able to combat that.”
There was also a lot of question marks on England’s decision to play only one spinner in the form of Jack Leach on a dry and abrasive surface when India had three spinners in their ranks. Silverwood revealed that the team’s decision was influenced by the history of the pink-ball Tests and also the way the ball was swinging in the training sessions ahead of the game.
“Joe Root has got five for eight. So actually the second spinner did alright for us. But we did expect the wicket to hold up longer than it did to be honest, having looked at it. And equally, throughout training, using the pink ball and looking back in history on pink ball Tests, the ball swung for us.
“Jimmy and co all got movement with the ball during practise. So we genuinely felt we had the right side out there with the experience that we had and having two of our bowlers in the top ten in the world in the rankings. We felt that, with this pink ball, it would have been an opportunity for those two to make a big impact on the game for us. Hence the selection we went for,” he asserted.