Shane Warne fires up after 'unacceptable' Indian pitch drama

Andrew Reid
·5-min read
Seen here, Shane Warne has weighed in on the Chennai pitch controversy.
Shane Warne was quick to weigh in on the Chennai pitch controversy in the second Test between India and England. Pic: Getty

England are need of a miracle to rescue anything from their second Test match against India, on a turning Chennai pitch that has been slammed by a number of greats of the sport.

India seized control of the second Test after their spinners wreaked havoc on the Chennai dustbowl, skittling England for 134 runs in the tourist's first innings.

'DISGRACE': Cricket fans rage over 'shameful' Virat Kohli act

'JOKE': Cricket world in shock over 'disgraceful' controversy

'GREATEST EVER': Cricket world erupts over 'unbelievable' miracle

The score represents England's lowest ever first-innings score in India, 29 fewer than the previous worst by Graham Gooch's class of 1993 in Kolkata, and their second smallest in Asia.

In reply, the hosts finished day two on 1-54 for an overall lead of 249 runs on a deteriorating track, having made 329 in their first dig.

Rohit Sharma, who smashed 161 in the first innings, was on 25 with Cheteshwar Pujara on seven at the end of the second day.

However, the state of the Chennai pitch has been the biggest talking point, with some even calling for India to be docked points in the World Test Championship as a result.

Aussie Test legend Mark Waugh called it "unacceptable", while former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a "beach".

Waugh noted on Twitter: "I'm all for a good contest between bat and ball in test match cricket but this pitch in Chennai is unacceptable at test match level.

"You can't have the ball going through the top of the surface on day 1 from the main part of the pitch. i.e not from the footmarks."

Vaughan prefaced his grievances by declaring he wasn't "making excuses" for England, but claimed the pitch was not fit for a five-day Test match.

Never one to shy away from sharing his own feelings on social media, Shane Warne argued that the pitch had played the same for both sides.

“The toss was more important to win in the 1st test than this one, as it did nothing the 1st 2 days. Then exploded,” Warne tweeted. 

Pictured here, former England captain Michael Vaughan.
Michael Vaughan is not happy with the state of the pitch in Chennai. Pic: Getty

“This one has been a turner from ball one. Eng should’ve bowled India out for 220. No different between spinning or seaming & Rohit showed how to play on this surface”.

The Aussie Spin King's comments prompted a heated back and forth between him and Vaughan on social media, with the former England captain unwilling to accept Warne's analysis.

A 'very good toss to win' for India

England's assistant coach Graham Thorpe kept a diplomatic silence after day two, declining to comment on the suitability of the controversial pitch.

All that Throrpe would concede was that England are now going to need a miracle to save the match on the spin-friendly surface.

"It's incredibly challenging on that surface for us on day two," Thorpe told a video conference.

"They have a skilled spin attack on their own conditions and it was a very good toss to win. There are some balls in the pitch that you might not be able to do too much about.

"It has obviously taken turn early in the game," former England batsman Thorpe said.

"In terms of commenting on the suitability of the pitch for a Test, that's for someone above me to say,"

Broadcaster Simon Hughes called for India to be docked points in the World Test Championship in response to the pitch uproar.

England would need "something very, very special" on Monday to maintain their 1-0 lead in the four-test series, Thorpe said.

Yet India spinner Ravi Ashwin denied there were any demons in the pitch.

"Time and again, there are conditions which will challenge you, be it spin or seam," Ashwin, who took 5-43, told reporters.

"If the ball is moving around at 145-150km and takes off the deck, that has to be more challenging than someone bowling at 85-90km when the ball is spinning.

"Clearly, the challenges are way greater than when you come up against spin."

Ashwin spelled out what he thought should be the batting approach on such tracks.

"You have to give it to the bowler, bide your time and then probably cash in on it later. It's just another form of art."

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.