'Garbage': Cricket world erupts over 'awful' Test match controversy

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·6-min read
Indian captain Virat Kohli (pictured right) shakes hands with England captain Joe Root (pictured left).
The pitch at Ahmedabad was slammed after India defeated England by 10 wickets on a spinner-friendly wicket. (Getty Images)

The cricket world is divided after watching an extraordinary Test match that saw India claim a 10-wicket victory inside two days in the day-night contest at the Narendra Modi Stadium against England.

England were savaged after an abysmal batting effort, which saw spinners claiming 28 of the 30 wickets that fell in five sessions in the shortest completed Test match since 1935.

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But debate has been raging over the state of the Ahmedabad pitch with former England captain Michael Vaughan leading the charge.

Vaughan claimed such spinner/bowling friendly wickets are not good for the future of Test cricket when broadcasters count on matches going at least four days.

“My worry for the future of Test match cricket is Channel 4 would have bid an amount of money to put Test match cricket on the station for us all to see,” Vaughan said on BBC5.

“Will they bid the next time knowing that they only got three days last week and that they only got two days this week? So that’s five days out of ten that they’ve paid for that they’ve got nothing back.

“Will they be thinking the next time a rights deal is available in the future, ‘Is it worth buying Test match cricket because you know what ... you might get a two-day Test or a two-and-a-half-day Test, what are we going to do with the other two-and-a-half days?’

“That’s a worry for me.”

Vaughan also tweeted following the match that the pitch was 'awful'.

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Yuvraj Singh also weighed-in on the debate and agreed with Vaughan the pitch wasn't a good site for Test cricket.

"Finished in 2 days. Not sure if that’s good for test cricket," he wrote.

Vaughan's view was shared by many in the cricket community.

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England slammed for seam attack

But many were also critical of England having shot themselves in the foot before a ball was bowled by opting for a pace-heavy attack on a spinners' paradise in the third Test.

Joe Root's decision to welcome back a fit-again Jofra Archer and a rested James Anderson in a four-pronged pace attack, while retaining Jack Leach as their only specialist spinner, backfired spectacularly.

Prior to the match, all-rounder Ben Stokes said England's seamers were "licking their lips" at the prospect of getting the pink ball to swing significantly.

But they were in for a shock as spin trumped swing, with even Root claiming his maiden five-wicket haul with his part-time offspin.

Former England Test batsman Sir Geoffrey Boycott was perplexed at the tourists' team selection.

"I would also like to know who had the bright idea of playing three fast bowlers on a turning pitch. They should be embarrassed," he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

"England got sucked into thinking they were playing a pink ball Test in Adelaide not Ahmedabad."

Fans took a dig at England and their backers for blaming the wicket, rather than looking at themselves.

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For India, left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed a match haul of 11-70, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took seven en route to surpassing 400 Test wickets.

So dominant were India's spinners that they did not turn to their seamers in England's second innings, while third spinner Washington Sundar sent down only four deliveries for a wicket.

"We thought the wicket would hold together better than it did - throughout all the practice days it seamed around, it swung and the seamers looked a threatening option," Root said.

"It's easy in hindsight to select a different team."

England's policy of resting multi-format players meant they were unable to field their strongest XI.

Moeen Ali, who has been rested ahead of the white-ball leg of the tour, would have been an asset with his offspin and free-scoring ability.

Ahmedabad also hosts the fourth and final Test from March 4, with India leading the series 2-1.

with AAP

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