The second Test match played between India and England in Chennai ignited a debate over the quality of the pitch as spin started to take effect from the very first ball of the game. Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan had heavily criticised the Chennai pitch for being a turner. Indian opener Rohit Sharma, who scored a fine century at Chepauk, slammed the critics, saying experts should discuss the performances and techniques of cricketers rather than talking about pitches.
Now, former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manrekar has joined critics in lambasting the Chennai pitch. Manjrekar took to Twitter, in what appears to be a jibe at Rohit Sharma, saying nobody would be talking about pitches if it doesn't start "exploding" 30 minutes into a 5-Day Test match. Manjrekar reminded Rohit of the famous 2001 Test match between India and Australia, saying everyone was just talking about players' performances back then and not pitches.
Don’t think there will be a debate on pitches if we didn’t find the surface exploding 30 minutes into a 5 day Test match. 2001 when India famously beat Aus in Ind, no one was talking about pitches, we were all just raving about Indian players’ performances.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 22, 2021
Rohit targeted the critics and said that debates should be on the performances and not on the pitches as it's the same for both sides. "When we play overseas, we never speak about the pitches. We are happy with the result and move on. Everyone should do the same, especially experts. Talk about the cricket, not the pitches," Sharma had said in an online press conference.
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 ... https://t.co/HhK6dYLiHm— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 14, 2021
Although Chennai's pitch did look a spin-friendly surface, players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravi Ashwin showed that scoring runs was still possible as did England's Ben Foakes in the first innings and Moeen Ali in second. The match in Chennai saw nearly 80% of overs being bowled by spinners, which was the most in a Test in India since 2012. Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 29th fifer in Test cricket.
As far as the match is concerned, India beat England by a huge margin of 317 runs levelling the four-match series at 1-1. Rohit Sharma scored 161 runs in the first innings helping India post 329 runs on board. India bowled out England for just 134 runs and took the pitch for the second innings posting 286 with the help of Ashwin's amazing century. India then restricted England for 164 runs to win the match.
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