While Team India successfully won the third Test against England within two days, the pitch of Motera has come into the limelight and become a matter of debate as well. And, the entire cricket fraternity is divided over the analysis of the pitch that was used for the pink-ball Test between India and England. Meanwhile, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, felt that it was England players’ body language that caused their defeat in the two innings of the third Test.
Motera surface witnessed spinners seal the deal for both teams whereas sharp turns and uneven bounce on the pitch is considered as poor surface. And here, batsmen failed to play the turn and trapped in front of the stumps.
While speaking to Indian Express, Gavaskar revealed, “It was not a pitch where the ball was misbehaving constantly. Nothing was kicking up alarmingly. Neither was there any great invariable bounce that the ball would shoot. Here, the bounce was actually true, almost. Yes, there was spin but Test match batsmen should be able to handle the turn or the straighter ones. Challenging, but not treacherously challenging. If you look at the dismissals, the batsmen have contributed to their own downfall. More than the pitch, it was about the mindset which did them in. Rohit Sharma’s batting in both innings showed you could score runs on this pitch.”
On the other hand, some people believe that the extra lacquer on the pink ball could be the reason for it skidding quicker but the batting great said that it was the oversimplification of their own problems which saw the England players being bundled out very cheaply in both their innings.
“That’s an oversimplification of their own problems of having read the wrong line. Whether it was the red or pink (ball), whether the ball came down quick or slower, you would still have been out LBW or bowled if you have played down the wrong line,” he told.
Furthermore, Sunil Gavaskar also explained the factors that help the batsmen to counter-attack the situation in a better way, which included bat-speed, grip, standing position in the crease, etc. He cited the example of Indian players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who looked comfortable in that situation and dealt with it easily rather than the England players who were looking uncomfortable and clueless on the same pitch.
“When the ball is turning occasionally, you play the line of the ball. Importantly, it’s your bat-speed that is going to be the determining factor. Also, the grip on the bat is going to be a determining factor. How you stand at the crease before the ball has left the bowler’s hand is a factor. All these little things make a difference. We didn’t see many batsmen from both teams make the adjustments,” he concluded.
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