Joining the growing chorus against the turning Chepauk pitch, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen claimed that Team India would have lost the second Test as well had skipper Virat Kohli lost the toss. Taking to Twitter, Pietersen remarked that it is such a 'brave wicket' to prepare for a Test in India when the hosts are already one match down in the series. Earlier, former skipper Michael Vaughan had also denounced the turning pitch at Chepauk as Indian bowlers rattled the visitors for merely 134 on the second day of the Test.
Such a brave wicket to prepare for a Test match IN India when India are down in the series.— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) February 14, 2021
If India had lost the toss, they’d have gone down 2-0.
Very very brave!
Well tossed, @imVkohli 🤣
Meanwhile, former Australia cricketer Mark Waugh also criticized the pitch at Chepauk, terming it as 'unacceptable' at Test level. The junior Waugh highlighted that it was not acceptable to have the ball going through the top of the surface on day 1 from the main part of the pitch.
I’m all for a good contest between bat and ball in test match cricket but this pitch in Chennai is unacceptable at test match level. You can’t have the ball going through the top of the surface on day 1 from the main part of the pitch. Ie not from the footmarks.— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) February 14, 2021
On the other hand, spin maestro Shane Warne schooled Michael Vaughan as the latter blamed the pitch for India grabbing the advantage in the ongoing Test. Warne highlighted that the pitch has been the same since day 1 but England bowlers have failed to bowl brilliantly whereas Indian batsmen have been on top of their game. The duo engaged in a war of words on Twitter as they fought over the part of the pitch in the game so far.
With the new ball in hand on the morning of Day 2, Ravi Ashwin ensured that he made the most of it by making the ball talk on a raging turner after India had posted a stiff total of 329 batting first. He asked tough questions to the English batsmen on a deteriorating surface as they were left clueless. The senior spinner accounted for the likes of opener Dom Sibley, number three batsman Dan Lawrence, middle-order batsman Ben Stokes, tail-enders Olly Stone, Jack Leach and, Stuart Broad to complete his five-wicket haul.
Meanwhile, this is the Tamil Nadu cricketer's 29th five-wicket haul in Test cricket and also his second successive fifer in the ongoing Test series. He finished with figures of 5/43 from his 23.5 overs at an economy of 1.80. Ashwin's five-wicket haul as well as vital contributions from other Indian bowlers ensured that England were bundled out for a paltry total of 134 in reply to the hosts' first innings score of 329 as they enjoyed a mammoth lead of 195 runs. Team India in their second innings are currently 53/1 with opener Rohit Sharma and number three batsman Cheteshwar Pujara out in the middle. Kohli & Co. now lead by 248 runs.