Former England captain Alastair Cook took a sly dig on Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s stance on the Motera pitch for the third Test match. The Indian captain defended the dusty Motera track and claimed batsmen were not up to the standards. During the post-match presentation, Kohli said “It was bizarre that out of 30 wickets, 21 were too straight balls. It was down to a lapse of concentration or playing for turn and beating on the inside.” Also Read - IPL 2021 | To Have Captain Virat Kohli at Other End Makes Job Little Easier: RCB's Glenn Maxwell
Disagreeing with Kohli’s assessment, Cook said batting was near impossible on the newly laid strip at the refurbished stadium in Ahmedabad. Also Read - Rohit bats for Conservation of Rhinos
“Virat Kohli’s come out and defended the wicket almost as if it’s a BCCI thing — it cannot possibly be the wicket. Yet it was so hard to bat on that. So hard,” Cook told Channel 4. Also Read - AB de Villiers Versatility Unnerves Opposition: Kohli
“Take the wicket out and blame the batsmen?” Cook asked, referring to Kohli’s assessment of the pitch that it’s a “very good pitch to bat on — especially in the first innings”.
The third Test match between India and England was finished in under 2 days as the hosts emerged victorious with 10 wickets.
Only two batsmen — one each from both sides — could score a half-century as 28 wickets fell to the spinners on a Motera pitch that many players felt was not ideal for a Test match. The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, however, credited the spinners rather than blaming the pitch.
Cook added, “We’ve got Virat Kohli, Joe Root, we have some great players of spin. Yes, we’ve got some people who have got to learn to play spin better, but we have got great players of spin also struggling.
“To me, it’d be great to have that game with the red ball to see the difference when the ball is skidding on. Today trying to play properly, it was nigh-on impossible.”
Cook said that the Motera pitch has spun more than any other pitch in India, however, some ball have gone straight which troubled the English batters.
“We saw a stat that says this pitch has spun more than any other pitch in India. There’s been so many other balls that have gone straight on as well. So that means when it is turning, it is turning miles.
“When you see the highlights and the ball skidding on you, we don’t see the build-up: when the exact same ball is spinning miles,” Cook said.