Slamming critics of the Ahmedabad pitch for the 3rd India-England Test, Kevin Pietersen has asked the visitors’ head coach, Chris Silverwood, to avoid “moaning and complaining” about the conditions.
Pietersen called it a “defeatist” attitude which will prevent the team from drawing the series in the 4th Test.
The two-day, spin-dominated third Test match has sent the cricket fraternity into a swirl. Some pundits are questioning the viability of the wickets that support spin from the first day. Other experts are admonishing these concerns, comparing these with green tops in various countries.
Kevin Pietersen, on his part, doesn’t want his team to pass the buck. As quoted by the Daily Mail, the former cricketer said England should focus on winning the next Test.
“If Chris Silverwood is now starting to complain and moan about the pitch, if the head coach is going to moan and complain, that is as defeatist an attitude as I have ever heard of. He should wind his neck in. If you point your finger at someone else, four fingers point back at you and that’s what England need to remember.
“If it was me after this Test match, as an England player I would say, ‘You know what, I played badly, I have got a week now to try and play and practice as best as I can so that we can try and win the next Test match’. Because winning the next Test match and winning two Test matches in India and drawing the series is a damned good feat,” said Kevin Pietersen.
Out of the 28 wickets that fell to the spinners in Ahmedabad, 21 were off the balls that kept straight. Kevin Pietersen pointed to the same and asked the visitors to steer clear of the “noise” and focus on improving this aspect of their game.
“Instead of the negative, defeatist attitude, instead of blaming the ICC, blaming the pitch, trying to get India deducted points, all the nonsense surrounding that, I would be thinking, ‘Fine, 21 of us missed straight balls, let me go and sort my defense out against the straight ball and the spinner’,” Pietersen, who has scored 13,797 runs from 104 Tests, 136 ODIs and 37 T20Is, remarked.
England players have refrained from outright criticizing the pitch. However, some have called the conditions “extreme” while leaving it on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide on its playability.
Meanwhile, Indian players including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin have all defended the wicket, pointing to poor batting from both sides. Kevin Pietersen suggested Silverwood and his players be honest like them and work on their game.
“Virat Kohli spoke about it. Rohit Sharma spoke about it. They both said both teams didn’t bat well. So be honest. You’re allowed to be honest as a sportsman. How many of the guys got out to wickets where the ball bounced and turned and they nicked it to slip and it was unplayable? How many of those were there? I’ll tell you the answer. None. They all got out to straight balls. So work on your defence. Use your bat, play straight, defend straight, play late, bat like Joe Root. Pretty damn simple,” Kevin Pietersen signed off.
The 4th and final Test will commence on March 4 in Ahmedabad.