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  5. IND vs ENG | It's for ICC to decide whether Ahmedabad pitch is fit for purpose, not players: Joe Root

IND vs ENG | It's for ICC to decide whether Ahmedabad pitch is fit for purpose, not players: Joe Root

Root refused to blame the surface for England's batting woes after the team folded for 112 and 81 in its two innings.

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Ahmedabad Published on: February 25, 2021 23:25 IST
Joe Root
Image Source : BCCI

Joe Root

England skipper Joe Root on Thursday said it is up to the ICC, and not the players, to decide whether the "difficult" Motera pitch is suitable for Test cricket after his side was crushed inside two days by India in a low-scoring day-nighter here.

Root refused to blame the surface for England's batting woes after the team folded for 112 and 81 in its two innings. But he said it is the ICC that should consider the suitability of the pitch for Test cricket.

"I think that this surface, it's a very challenging one, is a very difficult one to play on. It is not for players to decide whether it is fit for purpose or not and that is upto the ICC," said Root, who took a career-best five-wicket haul during India's first innings.

"As players we are going to try and counter what is in front of us as best as we can," he added.

Root said his team missed the opportunity to get a big first innings total, which seemed possible when it was 70 odd for just two wickets.

"We are disappointed, I feel we have missed an opportunity, more so in the first innings than anything. The position we found ourselves in at 71/2, we had a real chance to (score big).

"In hindsight, if we would have got 200, that would have been a very good score on that wicket and the game would have looked completely different," Root said at the virtual post-match press conference.

Root said the pink ball became a huge factor on the pitch given the brilliant performance by left-arm spinner Axar Patel.

"The ball was quite a big factor on this wicket. The plastic coating and the hardness of the seam compared to the red SG ball meant it almost gathered pace off the wicket. A lot of the dismissals on both teams were actually due to beaten for pace (and) not beaten on the inside.

"And credit to Axar in particular. He utilised and exploited that exceptionally well and found a good method on that surface, which made it very challenging," he added.

Patel (6/38 and 5/32) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/26 and 4/48) wreaked havoc on the surface and Root said his side will have to find a way to be better.

"We have got to get better and we are going to keep looking to find a way to scoring runs on surfaces like this," Root said.

Root was also asked whether ICC should take over pitches if it was conducting the World Test Championship, to which he said that was a decision for the ICC to make.

"That is something the ICC will look at and that is the decision they will have to make. There is always going to (be) slight home advantage. The decision is there for the ICC to make.

"But as players, we want to play against the best, we want to compete against the best in whatever conditions they are," the England skipper added.

With Thursday's loss, England were knocked out of contention from the World Test championship final as they needed to beat India at-least by a margin of two Tests in the four-match series.

The fourth and the final Test will be played at the same venue from March 4. 

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