'I don't get it': Aussie hits out over 'shameful' cricket controversy

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Seen here, India's players celebrate during their third Test win against England.
India's win in the third Test was largely overshadowed by criticism of the Ahmedabad pitch. Pic: AAP

Aussie Test spinner Nathan Lyon has hit out at what he describes as a gross double standard, in the wake of the ' 'shameful' pitch controversy during India's home series with England.

India crushed England by 10 wickets in a pink-ball match that spanned just 842 balls, making it the shortest completed Test since 1934.

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The cricket world has been left well and truly divided over the extraordinary match that saw India claim a 10-wicket victory inside two days in the day-night contest at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

England were savaged after an abysmal batting effort, which saw spinners claiming 28 of the 30 wickets that fell in just five sessions.

Debate has been raging over the state of the Ahmedabad pitch with former England captain Michael Vaughan among a number of past players to criticise it for not being up to Test standard.

Fellow former England captains Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook joined Vaughan in criticising the pitch prepared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)'s chief groundsman Ashish Bhowmik, that saw the tourists contemplating whether or not to lodge a formal complaint to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

However, Lyon says the outrage over the pitch is unwarranted, even going as far as saying that he'd like to see the ground's curator work his magic at the SCG.

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The Aussie spinner suggested that England only had themselves to blame for having Jack Leach as the only specialist spinner in their Test XI.

"The best thing about this Test match that just passed is that England went in with four seamers," Lyon said.

"That will do me. I don't need to say any more."

Lyon says he finds it curious that pitch outrage tends to happen mostly on turning wickets, but when pitches assist the fast bowlers, there is nowhere near the same level of uproar.

"We play on seaming wickets around the world and get bowled out for 47, 60. Nobody ever says a thing (about the pitch).

"But as soon as it starts spinning, everyone in the world seems to start crying about it.

"I don't get it. I'm all for it, it was entertaining."

Pictured here, Nathan Lyon delivers a ball in a Test match for Australia.
Nathan Lyon has hit out at criticism of the pitch in India. Pic: Getty

Pitch to come under scrutiny in fourth Test

Indian star Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked up his 400th Test wicket during the match, echoed Lyon's sentiments.

"What makes a good surface? Who defines this? Seam on the first day, then bat well, then spin on the last two days? Come on, who makes all these rules? We need to get over it," Ashwin said after the match.

The pitch will again come under scrutiny when it hosts the fourth Test between India and England later this week.

India's big win over England in the third Test was a major blow to Australia's hopes of sneaking into the Test championship final.

Tim Paine's team will contest the mid-year final at Lord's if England win their fourth Test against India, which starts at the same venue on Thursday.

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Any other result will mean Australia's next Test won't come until next summer.

The long wait comes as national coach Justin Langer admits he was disappointed to read rumblings of player discontent in a newspaper report, noting on Perth's SportFM he had "talked for years about honest conversations".

"Me personally, if I had a problem with JL I'd go straight to him," Lyon said.

"But I don't have a problem with him. I don't understand where it's all coming from.

"I'd like to think anyone in that change room or anyone at Cricket Australia or outside - if anyone has a problem with anyone, we're about being honest with each other."

with AAP

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