Sports

Totally agree: Michael Vaughan responds to Rohit Shama’s message to Chennai pitch critics

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was one of the fiercest critics of the pitch in Chennai for the 2nd Test between India and England during the 2nd Test last week. Vaughan was fuming on social media even as England were getting bundled out for 134 in the first innings as early as Day 2 of the Test which saw spinners getting assistance from the pitch right from the first session.

Vaughan had called the Chennai pitch a “stinker” and went on to agree with former Australia batsman Mark Waugh who called the Chepauk track “unacceptable at Test match level”. Vaughan opined that it was a “poor pitch” even as India went on to make 286, 152 runs more than what England managed in the first Test.

While Rohit Sharma’s 161 in the first innings set up India’s fightback in the 2nd Test, R Ashwin’s 2nd innings hundred and Virat Kohli’s fifty put the game beyond England’s reach. The visitors suffered a 317-run loss as they were completely outplayed by India.

Vaughan though backed Rohit Sharma’s views on teams having the right to take advantage of home conditions as the India opener addressed the press on Sunday in the lead up to the 3rd Test. While maintaining that the pitch at Ahmedabad will be similar to that of Chennai, Rohit urged followers of the game to stop the chatter over the pitch and instead focus on the game and the players.

“The pitch is the same for both teams. So I don’t know why there’s so much talk about the pitch. People say that the pitch shouldn’t be a certain type of way, but they have been like this in India for years. Every team plays to their strengths at home, and similarly, we do what our team prefers in India,” Rohit told the press on Sunday.

“This is what home or advantage means. Otherwise, remove home or away advantage. Tell ICC that there should be a rule which should be followed and the same kind of pitches should be made in India and away from India also.

“When we go abroad, the hosts also make it difficult. I don’t think there should be so much discussion about the pitches. Talk about the game, talk about the players. Pitches shouldn’t be discussed this much as both the teams play on the same pitch and whoever does better wins the match.

“As batsmen, we never think about the pitch. We only think about our plans. If it’s a turning pitch, whether we have to play the sweep or come down the track. If it’s a seaming pitch, whether we have to leave balls, stand outside the crease or play defensively,” he added.

After an extended break, India and England will meet in the 3rd Test, a pink-ball affair in Ahmedabad from February 24.

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