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India v England

Watch: R Ashwin in heated exchange with English journalist over pitch question

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ravichandran Ashwin has clearly had enough of the debate over the quality of pitches in the ongoing India-England Test series, responding tetchily after an English journalist questioned him on his thoughts on the surface in a virtual press conference.

Ashwin’s achievement of becoming the second fastest bowler, in terms of matches played, to the milestone of 400 Test wickets has been overshadowed somewhat be fervent discussion about the surface used for the third Test. England captain Joe Root claimed career-best figures of 5-8 in the first session of day two with his part-time off-breaks, 28 out of 30 wickets fell to spin, and the game ended as the shortest completed Test since the Second World War.

Asked if he felt the pitch was “a good surface for Test cricket” by The Sun’s cricket correspondent John Etheridge, Ashwin responded with another question. “I have a question back. What is a good cricket surface? Who defines it?”

Etheridge laughed, before saying “I’m the one asking the questions. A contest between bat and ball.”

“Yes of course,” countered Ashwin. “The bowler is in the game, the batsman needs to bat well to get runs. There is absolutely no question about this. What makes a good surface? Who defines this? Seam on the first day, then bat well, then spin on the last two? Come on. Who makes all these rules? We need to get over it and not talk about whatever picture you want to paint.”

The exchange continued, with Ashwin only saying he was “hoping for a good cricket match” when asked if he hoped to see a similar surface for the fourth Test.

You can watch the exchange in full below:

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