Sourav

After whitewashing New Zealand in the three-Test series at home, India were expecting to show no mercy to England as well, right from the start. All such expectations got strength when England lost to Bangladesh in the second Test as they could not handle the quality spin bowling on a rank turning track of Dhaka. It was also because there were huge expectations from Indian curators producing a rank turning track in the first Test at Rajkot, which did not happen. Besides all those expectations, everything went down against India’s favour and it started with the toss, which Virat Kohli lost and was asked to bowl first by English captain Alastair Cook.

As the England batsmen came to bat, they had a decent start and thanks to the butterfingers of Indian fielders, who dropped three catches in the first six overs of the match. Although, Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja sent both the English openers back to pavilion soon, followed by Ben Duckett‘s wicket as well but after that, something else happened which was never expected. After losing first three wickets, England batters Joe Root and Moeen Ali began building a healthy partnership and added 179 runs for the fourth wicket. Root went on to score his maiden ton in Asia, followed by Moeen as well.

Indian bowlers looked helpless throughout the day as they were unable to get wickets because the pitch was not assisting much to spinners and it proved to be a batting friendly track. It was also because of some sloppy fielding and poor captaincy as well but it was surely a wake-up call for India. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly reacted to this and supported the way pitch behaved, though it went against India’s favour. After England’s defeat in Bangladesh, everyone expected the similar pitch in India as well, to which Ganguly seems to be against and expressed his views while analysing the first day’s play for ESPNCricinfo by saying, “But you expect that on Day 1 of a pitch. What you saw in Bangladesh were absolute minefields that turned square from Day 1. That was not a good Test match pitch.”

Ganguly further added to his point by saying that had Bangladesh faced India on that pitch in Dhaka, they could have been bowled out under 100. “If India was playing Bangladesh on those pitches, Bangladesh would not have got more than 100,” said Ganguly.

The 44-year old former Indian cricketer also explained his reason behind him being against with such rank turners and mentioned, “I think when you play on a Day 1 pitch like this; your fast bowlers need to come into play. That s why I keep saying play on good pitches in India and you will learn how to play well overseas.”