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‘Virat Kohli defending the pitch is a BCCI thing’: Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss say Indian skipper ‘looking after groundsmen’

Virat Kohli had insisted there were no demons in the pitch used for the 3rd Test, which has been called “not ideal” by several former players.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: February 27, 2021 8:23:49 am
india vs england, ind vs eng, india england, india vs england score, ind vs eng score, ind vs eng result, virat kohli, kohli, cricket score, cricket news, cricketFormer England captain Alastair Cook rejected Virat Kohli's claim that 'sub-par batting' was to blame for the low scores in the 3rd Test rather than the nature of the pitch. (FIle Photo)

Virat Kohli blamed ‘sub-par batting’ for the low scores in the India vs England 3rd Test, which the hosts won within two days, but former England captains Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss have said Kohli’s defence of the Ahmedabad pitch sounded like a defence of the Indian cricket board’s strategy for the series.

“We saw a stat that says this pitch has spun more than any other pitch in India,” Cook told Channel 4.

“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 today. So hard. 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,” he added.

Cook’s former teammate Andrew Strauss pointed to Joe Root’s struggles on Day 2 to prove how even great players of spin bowling struggled on the pitch.

“Look at Joe Root for a moment. We know he is a great player of spin,” Strauss said. “He is in great form as well. What did he get – 19 today? Might have been out two or three times en route to getting that score. And by the way, that’s day two of a Test match. To say the pitch has no fault to play, I totally agree with Cooky. Kohli’s looking after the groundsmen there to a certain degree.”

Kohli had insisted there were no demons in the pitch, which has been called “not ideal” by several former players like Michael Vaughan and Harbhajan Singh. Kohli said the track was absolutely fine at least in the first innings and only the odd ball was turning in the game which India won by 10 wickets on Thursday.

England skipper Joe Root refused to blame the surface for England’s batting woes after the team folded for 112 and 81 in its two innings. But he said it is the ICC that should consider the suitability of the pitch for Test cricket.

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