Everyone is entitled to their opinion, said India's Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday, playing down talks about the quality of the Motera track after India's comprehensive win in the pink-ball Test against England.
Ashwin and Axar Patel ran riot at the newly renamed Narendra Modi Stadium to defeat England within two days and go 2-1 up in the four-Test series. While critics blamed the pitch for the failure of batsmen, Ashwin said that one should be talking about the quality of play instead of the surface.
"I think I have said that in the past as well, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am not here to say that your opinion is right and it is wrong. The fact remains that the talk about the surface is getting out of hand.
"Why would you talk about the surface and sell that to us time and time again? Is there any instance where the pitch has been talked about this much when we have played games in other countries," asked Ashwin in a virtual press conference.
"I somehow find it funny that when they speak about the surface, it immediately gets quoted all over in our press and this is the issue here. There have been instances, we have been to New Zealand, where both the Tests got over in a total of five days.
"There is a video doing the rounds where Virat Kohli is talking in South Africa and he says I am not here to talk about the pitch. That is how we have been taught to play cricket, that's why I say let them sell thoughts, buying is our choice," he added.
While Axar picked five in the second innings, Ashwin registered four as the seasoned off-spinner also crossed the 400-wicket mark in Test cricket.
Ashwin became the fourth Indian after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417) to achieve the feat. He also became the second-fastest bowler in the history of the game (after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan) to reach the milestone.
Ashwin, further giving his take on the pitch, said that he didn't see any England players coming out and complaining about the surface.
"The bowler wins the game, the batsmen need to bat well to score runs. Who defines what a good surface is? Seam on the first day, then bat well in the next couple of days and spin on the last two days, come on, who makes these rules?
"We need to get over it and if you are asking whether the pitch in the third Test was a good surface, I do not see any players of England coming out and complaining. You should be hoping for a good cricket match, not the surface," he said.