Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott downplayed the criticism of pitch condition during the pink-ball Test against India. The match ended within two days with India registering a formidable 10-wicket victory.
After India bowled England out on 112 on Day 1, the hosts also faced a batting collapse in the first session of the second day, scoring 145. The Indian spinning duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, then, wreaked havoc on the English batting order, bowling them out on 81.
Don't give a toss about criticism of my knighthood, it is just recognition of my cricket: Geoffrey Boycott
After a fan asked Boycott if he had any word on the pitch condition at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Boycott replied, "There is nothing in the rules that says what type of pitch should be prepared. We had first choice of the surface and they were better than us. Simple."
Indian captain Virat Kohli had said in the post-match presentation ceremony that the pitch was, in fact, good for batting in the first innings, adding that the quality of batting from both sides failed to meet the standards.
Rohit Sharma, who scored a half-century in the first innings of the game and played a quickfire 25-run unbeaten knock in as many deliveries, said that the batsmen need to have scoring intent on pitches like the one in Ahmedabad.
"When you are playing on a pitch like that, you need to have an intent and look to score runs as well. You cant just keep blocking. As you saw that odd ball might just turn and odd ball might just skid on to stumps, when you play for turn," Rohit had said during the virtual conference after the end of the match.
England's loss in the third Test knocked them out of the race for the qualification in the final of World Test Championship, which is scheduled to be played in June at Lord's. While New Zealand have already qualified, one of India and Australia will join them for the titular clash.
For India to seal a place in the final, the side needs to ensure a win or a draw in the final match of the series, which will also be played in Ahmedabad.