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For ICC, not players, to decide on Motera pitch: Root

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
February 25, 2021 22:48 IST
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'I think that this surface, it's a very challenging one, is a very difficult one to play on.'

Joe Root

IMAGE: England captain Joe Root refused to blame the pitch for his team's batting woes in the third Test in Motera. Photograph: BCCI

England skipper Joe Root on Thursday said it is up to the International Cricket Council, and not the players, to decide whether the "difficult" Motera pitch is suitable for Test cricket after his side was crushed inside two days by India in a low-scoring day-night encounter.

 

Root refused to blame the pitch for England's batting woes after the team folded for 112 and 81 in their two innings as they lost the Test by 10 wickets. But at the same time, he said it is the ICC that should consider the suitability of the pitch for Test cricket.

"I think that this surface, it's a very challenging one, is a very difficult one to play on. It is not for players to decide whether it is fit for purpose or not and that is upto the ICC," said Root, who took a career-best five-wicket haul during India's first innings.

"As players we are going to try and counter what is in front of us as best as we can," he added.

Root said his team missed the opportunity to get a big first innings total, which seemed possible when it was 70 odd for just two wickets.

"We are disappointed, I feel we have missed an opportunity, more so in the first innings than anything. The position we found ourselves in at 71/2, we had a real chance to (score big).

"In hindsight, if we would have got 200, that would have been a very good score on that wicket and the game would have looked completely different," Root said at the virtual post-match press conference.

Root said the pink ball became a huge factor on the pitch given the brilliant performance by left-arm spinner Axar Patel.

"The ball was quite a big factor on this wicket. The plastic coating and the hardness of the seam compared to the red SG ball meant it almost gathered pace off the wicket. A lot of the dismissals on both teams were actually due to beaten for pace (and) not beaten on the inside.

"And credit to Axar in particular. He utilised and exploited that exceptionally well and found a good method on that surface, which made it very challenging," he added.

Patel claimed five wickets in both innings -- 6/38 and 5/32 -- and Ravichandran Ashwin bagged 3/26 and 4/48 as the spin twins wreaked havoc with the pink ball and Root said his side will have to find a way to deal with the spinners in the next game.

"We have got to get better and we are going to keep looking to find a way to scoring runs on surfaces like this," Root said.

Root was also asked whether ICC should take over pitches if it was conducting the World Test Championship, to which he said that was a decision for the ICC to make.

"That is something the ICC will look at and that is the decision they will have to make. There is always going to (be) slight home advantage. The decision is there for the ICC to make.

"But as players, we want to play against the best, we want to compete against the best in whatever conditions they are," the England skipper added.

With Thursday's loss, England were knocked out of contention from the World Test championship final as they needed to beat India at-least by a margin of two Tests in the four-match series.

The fourth and the final Test will be played at the same venue from March 4.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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