Ahmedabad: Wrapping the first Test in four-and-a-half days with a nine-wicket win was not enough for the Motera pitch to get India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s praise.
At the post-match media conference, he criticised the wicket and called for outright turners in the remaining matches of the series.
The following are excerpts
His take on the Motera wicket…
I don’t even want to see this wicket. There wasn’t enough turn and bounce for the spinners. Hopefully, in coming ties we’ll see the wicket turn, right from the start, or as soon as possible, so that the toss doesn’t become vital. What we want to see is two good sides competing against each other, with the toss taken out of the equation.
If the Match Referee can object to an outright turner
I don’t think the Match Referee can question a pitch just because it’s turning… When the wicket seams right from the first delivery, nobody asks questions. What you don’t want is ridges in the wicket, when one ball hits your head and next your toe.
On the possibility that on turners, Tests will get over in three days
At times, in the subcontinent, on pitches like this the toss becomes vital. The only way to take the toss out of the equation is to have pitches that turn right from the start. The game may end in three-and-a-half days, but both teams will have an equal opportunity to win .
If it was easy on the final day
It was not so easy... We were on the field for two-two-and-a-half days. The bowlers had be patient. (Pragyan) Ojha bowled close to 80 overs, (Ravichandran) Ashwin bowled 72 overs. And they were supported well by the fast bowlers.
On the fast bowlers’ performance
Our fast bowlers bowled well… Zaheer Khan put in a lot of effort, we’ve seen Umesh (Yadav) improve, he’s bowling real quick... The fast bowlers gave us the breakthrough when it was really needed. Their contribution was as important as the spinners.
On Pujara’s qualities
He’s very calm and cool… He knows his role. He accepts responsibility. After scoring 200-odd runs, he was not shy to stand at short-leg. It would have been easy for him to say he was not feeling 100 per cent to stand at short leg, but he was there. He has the temperament to play big innings…
If Yuvraj Singh looked fit enough for the rigours of Test cricket
He looks very good… He batted really well. Those 70-odd runs were vital. In the first innings, he was not bowling in the areas where he should have, but in the second he was impressive. He bowled pretty well. Also we need to see in the next three Tests, if we have to field for two-and-a-half days… That will take a toll on the body. Not only Yuvi, but everyone. He looks very fit as of now.