England skipper Joe Root said that the pitch was a difficult one to play, but it's for the ICC to decide and not the players, to label the pitch fit.
England skipper Joe Root has said that it's not the players who label or decide if the pitch was suitable for the game and 'it's for the ICC to take a decision', after the day-night Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium ended in just two days.
Asked at the post-match press conference about the pitch, Root said, "That's a very good question and it's a tricky one to answer. I think that this surface is a very challenging one, a very difficult one to play on. It's not for players to decide if it's fit for purpose. That's up to the ICC. As players we have to try to counter it as best we can."
Root's comments came after Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma mentioned that there were no demons in the pitch and it was a good cricket wicket with an odd ball turning.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Kohli was asked if the pitch had something in it as the teams got out at scores of 112, 145 and 81. He said, "The result went our way, but I don't think the quality of batting was up to standards from both teams, to be very honest. I know they got bundled out early. But even with our innings, we were 100/3 hoping to make many more than we ended up with. Just lack of application from both sides.
"It was a very good pitch to bat on, especially in the first innings. We just felt like the ball was coming on very nicely, with the odd ball turning. I would say below-par batting from both teams, our bowlers were much more effective and that's why we got the result," he added.
Out of 30 wickets that fell in the game, 21 came on straighter deliveries, which could reflect Kohli's sentiments.
The opening batsman Rohit Sharma too shared his views with Kohli as he spoke in the press conference after the game. Asked about the pitch, Rohit said, "If I can recollect, lot of the balls most of the batters got out was to a straighter delivery. We also as a batting unit made a lot of mistakes while batting, it’s not just them. We also didn’t bat well in the first innings.
"Pitch had nothing as such, no such demons as we call, there was nothing like that. It was a nice pitch to bat on, once you’re in, you can score runs as well as we saw," he added.
Expressing his concern at the Motera crowd not being able to witness the best vs best and instead see Root get wickets, the England skipper said, "It's a real shame because it's a fantastic stadium, 40,000 people have come to watch a brilliant, iconic Test match and I feel for them. They came to watch Virat Kohli face Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach and Ravichandran Ashwin against our top batsmen like Ben Stokes. I almost feel like they've been robbed. Instead they had to watch me get wickets on there which shouldn't be the case. That's a frustration for a lot of people. The fact is it was challenging for both teams and credit to India, they outplayed us on that wicket.
"As I mentioned before the game there always has to be an element of home advantage, because that is part of the beauty of Test cricket. You go around the world playing in all these wonderful places and you have to learn to develop your game, to find different ways. If you are going to be consistently good, you have to find ways of playing on a wicket that spins, that is not quite as good for seamers. If you are going to be an all round good squad of players, you have to be able to handle it. It's just how extreme you're willing to let the wickets be.
"There's always going to be slight home advantage but it is a shame when you have got so many fantastic players that can't have an input into a Test match. You look at Ishant [Sharma] playing his 100th game, he's bowled a minimal amount of overs. Someone like Jasprit Bumrah, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Jimmy Anderson, you're looking at some of the best bowlers in the world. And we're not getting a chance to see them play. The decision is there for the ICC to make but as players you want to compete against the best in whatever conditions they are. But, you know, there's got to be a contest there."
Root also shed light on the role of the SG pink ball in adding to the problems of the batsmen. Reflecting on the same, Root said, "I honestly think the ball was a big factor in this wicket. "The fact the plastic coating, the hardness of the seam compared to the red SG, meant it almost gathered pace off the wicket. If it hit the shiny side and didn't hit the seam. A lot of those wickets on both sides, the LBWs and bowleds, were due to being done for pace beaten on the inside.
"If you look at some of the replays batsmen probably ended up in the right position but because it was gathering pace off the wicket it was difficult. Credit to Axar [Patel] in particular, I think he exploited that really well and found a very good method on that surface."
India defeated England by 10 wickets and wrapped up the match in just two days to take a 2-1 lead in the series.