It was a surprise to see a Chepauk pitch as flat as it was in the 1st Test against England. There was absolutely nothing on offer for the bowlers as England posted a mammoth 578 in the 1st innings, batting India out of the game. The curator was criticized and it was evident that the surface in the second game won’t be the same.
All the speculation proved true as the wicket started turning from Day 1 itself. A magnificent hundred from Rohit Sharma helped India post a solid 329, which looked like a mountain of runs on this wicket. When England came out to bat, they had no clue about the surface as they surrendered in front of the Indian bowlers, getting bowled out for a paltry 139.
Michael Vaughan, the former England captain was not happy with the wicket and termed it as a ‘shocker’.
“It’s entertaining cricket as things are happening all the time but let’s be honest this Pitch is a shocker .. Not making any excuses as India have been better but this isn’t a Test Match 5 day prepared Pitch”
Replying to Vaughan, Australian legend Shane Warne said that the pitch has been the same for both teams but England were poor in their execution. They should have bowled out India for 220.
“The toss was more important to win in the 1st test than this one, as it did nothing the 1st 2 days. Then exploded. This one has been a turner from ball one. Eng should’ve bowled India out for 220. No different between spinning or seaming & Rohit showed how to play on this surface,” replied Warne.
The two then got involved in the long debate with Vaughan criticising the pitch while Warne defending it.
“It didn’t do anywhere near as much for 2 sessions … Spun but not like what it’s doing now … India would have drawn the first Test if they had batted anything like in the 1st innings … This isn’t a good Test match pitch,” added Vaughan
“Come on maaaaaate ! The last few days of the 1st test, the wicket started exploding & no one said a word about the pitch when India had no chance. At least this test it’s been the same for both teams from ball one. Eng bowled poorly & Rohit, Pant and Jinx showed how to bat,” replied Warne.
Warne said that that there is no difference between a ball seaming or spinning too much, taking an indirect dig at England for producing seaming wickets when India toured England.
“There’s no diff between the ball seaming/spinning to much. We always want a fair contest between bat/ball. India have batted & bowled better than Eng in this match – simple. Conditions have been the same for both sides from ball one. But this is excessive & in favour of the ball”
Vaughan concluded the debate by accepting that India was the better team but he stood firm on his stand that the pitch was not quite of the quality that he expected.
“India been better in all aspects .. But the pitch hasn’t been the same from Ball one !!! It’s fine to produce whatever you want at home to gain advantage .. But this pitch for a 5 day Test match is a stinker .. but if I was India I would have done the same,” he added.