'Absolutely horrendous': Kevin Pietersen seethes over cricket 'disgrace'

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, former England Test batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Kevin Pietersen says batting, not the pitch, was to blame for England's third Test loss against India. Pic: Getty

England Test legend Kevin Pietersen has hit out at his former side after doubling down on his comments about the third Test against India.

The India side took a 2-1 lead in the four-Test series after crushing England by 10 wickets in the pink-ball match that spanned just 842 balls.

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It was the shortest completed Test match since 1934.

The extraordinary match that saw India claim a 10-wicket victory inside two days - a situation that left the cricket world divided.

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

Several former England players and captains, including Michael Vaughan, blamed the Ahmedabad pitch foe the nature of the result and insisted it was not up to Test standard.

India captain Virat Kohli has repeatedly insisted that it was "bizarre batting" from both sides - not the pitch - that was to blame for the match being over inside two days.

Speaking on the eve of the fourth and final Test at the same venue, Pietersen echoed Kohli's sentiments, labelling the batting by both sides "absolutely dreadful".

In his blog for betting agency Betway, Pietersen said batsmen from both sides failed to adjust to conditions that saw the pink ball consistently skidding onto the bat.

“Yes, the surface at Ahmedabad ensured that the ball was always likely to dominate in the third Test. But I’m just not having this nonsense about the pitch being unplayable. I’m not having it,” Pietersen wrote.

“The batting from both teams was absolutely dreadful.

“As a batsman, you guard against the straight deliveries. That should be your No.1 priority. If it beats you on the outside edge, that’s no problem.”

England captain Joe Root said fans were "robbed" of a good contest in the third Test and described the batting conditions on the Ahmedabad pitch as “very challenging" and "very difficult”.

Pietersen blames poor technique from batsmen

However, Pietersen insists that just like at any ground around the world, the onus is on the batsmen to adapt to the conditions.

“The technique and skill levels on show were horrendous,” he added.

“I’ve heard Kohli and Rohit Sharma concede this in the aftermath, but I’m yet to hear an England player say it.

“England players and fans can talk about the pitch, but I’ve played on pitches in England that have had so much grass on that batting is virtually impossible. You have to play the conditions.”

Seen here, India celebrate their third Test win against England.
India's win in the third Test was largely overshadowed by criticism of the Ahmedabad pitch. Pic: AAP

Pietersen said England selectors are also to blame for a rotation policy that meant their best XI was simply not available for the series.

“I would like to hold the ECB’s selection panel to account for this defeat, because it’s an absolute disgrace that they haven’t sent their full-strength team to play against India in India.

“A series like this can define you as a player and define your career ... Your career is all about taking these opportunities, so for England to have been rotating throughout this series is utterly disgraceful.”

India can seal a spot in the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand with a win or a draw against England in the fourth Test.

If the tourists are victorious, however, Australia will instead take their place in the final.

with agencies

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