There is no bigger talking point in the ongoing Test series between India and England than the pitches served for the three matches so far.
The hosts suffered a heavy 227-run defeat in the opening game but bounced back strongly to claim an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-Test rubber.
While a flat deck was dished out in the series opener, the second and third Tests saw square turner and dust bowl in Chennai and Ahmedabad, respectively.
See Also: Sir Vivian Richards slams England for “moaning and groaning” about the pitches
Amid the criticism over the surface, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday (March 2) said that England can expect another turner in the fourth Test.
“I think the wicket will be similar to the second Test match in Chennai, spinning track. Yes, pink ball made the difference and it came much quicker off the wicket compared to red ball and we had to make adjustments,” Rahane said during a virtual media conference, as quoted by PTI.
“Wicket will be a lot similar to last two Test matches,” he added.
The Day-Night Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium finished inside two days with the hosts winning it by 10 wickets. England were bowled out for 112 and 81, while India scored 145 in the first innings before chasing a 49-run target without any hiccup.
Subsequently, former England skipper Michael Vaughan slammed the International Cricket Council (ICC) for “allowing India to produce whatever they wish”.
“See, let people speak what they want to. The wickets, when we tour abroad, no one speaks about how seaming they are. They always speak about the technique of the Indian batsmen, I don’t feel we need to take seriously what people say,” Rahane remarked.
“…You see, when we tour abroad, the first day wicket is damp. When wicket becomes grassy and behaves up and down, then the pitch becomes dangerous but we haven’t complained about it or we have never spoken about it.”
Even though England have been outplayed in the last two Tests, Rahane was respectful of the visitors’ chances on another turner.
“Pitch looks similar but I don’t know how it’s going to play. We have to wait and see,” he said.
“We respect the England team. They are a very good team. We played good cricket in last two Tests and England played really well in the first game.
“We are not taking them lightly, and both teams will go out there and look to give their best to win the Test match,” he said.
He also hinted that veteran pacer Umesh Yadav might get a look in.
“Umesh is ready to go. Looking good and had a good session at the nets. We are really happy that he is back,” Rahane said.
(With PTI inputs)