Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 16:28 IST

'Everytime we play in India...': Rathour's NO-NONSENSE reply to Ben Stokes calling out Ranchi pitch

IND vs ENG: When asked about the Ranchi pitch for 4th Test, England captain Ben Stokes called out the pitch & said 'I've never seen something like that before'.

IND vs ENG: Vikram Rathour replies to Ben Stokes | Image:BCCI
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England cricket team have started to talk about the pitch after their heavy defeat in the IND vs ENG 3rd Test. The Indian and England teams arrived in Ranchi and have been going through training ahead of the 4th IND vs ENG Test match. The upcoming match-up will be crucial for Englans as they have lost two back-to-back matches to India. But when English all-rounder and skipper Ben Stokes saw the pitch at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, he was left flabbergasted (as expected).

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Ben Stokes baffled after observing Ranchi Pitch ahead of IND vs ENG Test match

Ben Stokes, the captain of England, expressed his confusion over the pitch for the fourth Test match that will take place at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi against India, saying he had no idea how it would perform. The 32-year-old claimed that although the track seemed to have a lot of grass, a closer inspection revealed plenty of cracks.

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"I've never seen something like that before. I have got no idea so I don't know what could happen. If you looked down one side of opposite ends it just looked different to what I am used to seeing, especially out in India.

"It looked green and grassy up in the changing rooms, but then you go out there it looked different: very dark and crumbly and quite a few cracks in it," England skipper Ben Stokes.

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Vikram Rathour replies to Ben Stokes' pitch talk

India batting coach Vikram Rathour made his assessment of the pitch in Rajkot on Thursday said the wicket hosting the India vs England 4th Test "enough cracks" and would favour the spinners but insisted they have enough firepower to cope with any condition. India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has been the top-wickettaker of the series but he would be missing the fourth Test after being given a break to manage his workload.

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The move has led many to believe that India will go for a rank turner for the fourth Test beginning on Friday.

"Everytime we play in India, there's question mark on the pitch ... It's a typical Indian wicket, there are cracks, this wicket always had cracks," Rathour told reporters on the eve of the match.

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"It will turn, but how much it will turn and from when we are not sure. But we have enough balance in our team." He said Bumrah is absolutely fine but it was not "advisable" to play him continuously. The India spearhead has bowled 80.5 overs in three Tests, taking 17 wickets at an average of 13.64.

"I think every Test match is a crucial test match, to be honest. With WTC points, every game is crucial. Even we would love Bumrah to play all the games," Rathour said.

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"But unfortunately that is not very advisable because the kind of workload he has had in the last three games. He has really bowled well and with a lot of heart, a lot of effort.

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"For the kind of schedule we have in the future, with IPL and all, it was felt by everybody involved that he should be given a break. Otherwise he is absolutely fine physically. But it was felt that it is better that he gets a break because there was hardly any turnaround time between the games." India's top-order batter KL Rahul, who is doing rehab after struggling with quadriceps pain, too was ruled out of the fourth Test and seems doubtful for Dharamsala.

"For me either he is fit or he is not. At the moment he is not fit. I am not sure what percent he is fit at the moment and what is the stage," he said.

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"I am not sure, the medical team will be able to advise that but as far as we are concerned he is not fit and not available for this game, so we are focusing on this team." Asked about players' skipping matches in Ranji Trophy, Rathour said: "It's the selectors' job to pick the 15. This question is better asked to them, I used to be a selector but I'm not anymore.

"At the moment we see that people who have done well in domestic cricket are promoted. It's good everybody should get chances." 

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 16:28 IST