India's Ashwin plays down Chennai pitch criticism

16 February 2021 - 14:17 By Reuters
Tim Paine of Australia watches on as Ravichandran Ashwin of India embraces his captain Ajinkya Rahane of India as they celebrate securing a draw during day five of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 11, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Tim Paine of Australia watches on as Ravichandran Ashwin of India embraces his captain Ajinkya Rahane of India as they celebrate securing a draw during day five of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 11, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Image: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

India's spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed criticism of Chennai's turning track after his match-winning performance secured the hosts' series-levelling victory in the second test against England on Tuesday.

India's three-pronged spin attack wreaked havoc on the surface where the ball spun from the first session and kicked up dust on landing.

Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh called the pitch unacceptable, while former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a beach.

"I'm completely fine with people having opinion, because we'll also have our opinion when we tour abroad," Ashwin told a video conference.

"But we don't complain or crib, we just get on with it. I've never seen any of our greats talk about pitches having a lot of grass, or all these things.

"When people come out with such opinion, we should respect them but should be able to magnanimously deflect them away."

Ashwin showed how to master such tracks, smashing a second innings century to go with his match haul of eight wickets that earned him the player-of-the-match award.

"It was not like some amazing balls got the wickets, it was more the balls that followed them, or the mind game that was being played," Ashwin said.

Many felt India won half the battle after winning the toss and ensuring England had to bat last on a deteriorating track but home captain Virat Kohli pointed to India's second-innings score of 286.

"I don't think on this pitch it would have mattered so much because if you look at our second innings, on day three, we still applied ourselves and almost got 300 runs again," Kohli said.

"Both teams had to apply themselves, and that's what you want in test cricket, whether you're playing on spinning tracks or on seaming tracks which have a lot of grass on it.

"Both teams should be in the game from the first session onwards, and that was exactly the case on this pitch," added Kohli. 

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