Kolkata; What is a good Test wicket? A time-tested line of thought is that there should be something in it for both batsmen and bowlers (read: seam) with spin coming into play from the third day or so - but India’s lead spinner Ravichandran Ashwin doesn’t quite agree to the idea.
‘‘Who makes these rules? Come on, we should get over it and not create a scene over it,” said the second fastest bowler to reach 400 wickets when he was confronted by an English journalist on the nature of a true wicket. ‘‘Seam on the first day. Bat well. Spin on the last two days,’’ said the journalist when Ashwin asked him to define a good wicket during a video conference on Saturday.
Nearly 48 hours after India wrapped up the third Test in Ahmedabad under two days to go up 2-1 in the series, the last is yet to be heard about the strip at Narendra Modi Stadium with senior players like captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and now Ashwin dismissing at quite a legitimate concern.
Ashwin called on people to stop buying the narrative of pitches that help turn from the first day not being good, from players and media abroad. “What is a good cricket surface? The bowler was in the game. The batsman needs to bat well to get runs. There is absolutely no question about it. What makes a good surface? Who defines this?,’’ he asked.
“The talk around the surface is getting out of hand. Why would you talk about the surface and sell that to us time in and time out. Is there any instance when the surface has been spoken about when we have played in any other country. I find it very, very funny that when they speak about the surface, it immediately gets noted in all over in our press. That is the issue here. There have been instances when we have gone to New Zealand, both Tests have got over within five days. Total five days. Nobody noted it. I don’t think we should indulge in such thoughts and promote such thoughts.
“My angst is that people are not able to paint a different picture from someone who is driving and selling a case. This needs to stop,” he said while explaining on his cryptic tweet on Thursday.
Ashwin, however, did not criticise or question Yuvraj Singh on his tweet about the Test finishing in two days. “The reason behind my tweets was not in context to anything in particular. And when I read Yuvi pa’s tweet, I actually didn’t get affected at all to be honest. I didn’t feel like he was telling us anything or trying to suggest anything. It really went as a plain tweet saying these people (Harbhajan, Kumble) were good. For me the state of mind I am in right now, I didn’t find it to be anything wrong and agenda driven. I have utmost respect for him,” said Ashwin.
“I am actually not that disturbed from things being taken away from the context because that is what has been happening for the last decade if not more,’’ the articulate cricketer added.