Last week, Yuvraj Singh posted a tweet that generated a bit of controversy. The former India all-rounder, expressed his disappointment with the pitch that was used for the third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad, a game that finished inside two days with the home team wrapping up a 10-wicket-win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Yuvraj had tweeted: “Finished in 2 days Not sure if that’s good for test cricket! If @anilkumble1074 and @harbhajan_singh bowled on these kinds of wickets they would be sitting on a thousand and 800.”
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The tweet left the cricketing world divided with some agreeing with the former India batsman, while some felt it was not needed given the accomplishments of spinners Axar Patel and R Ashwin. Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir weighed in on the topic, saying that even though he does not agree with Yuvraj on his opinion, he still believes Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh would have ended their careers with a lot more wickets, but due to factors other than pitches.
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“Yes, wickets are different today but DRS today plays a huge role. Had there been DRS when Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh was bowling, Kumble would have gone to 1000 wickets and Harbhajan would have got around 700 wickets because DRS plays a massive role especially in India where there are lot of inside edges, or bat pads and stuff,” Gambhir said on the ‘Runorder’ show on ESPNCricinfo when asked if he agrees with Yuvraj’s tweet.
Gambhir also pointed out that wickets suited for spin bowling is not Ashwin’s fault and that such a case only mounts further pressure on Indian spinners to perform. A total of 28 wickets fell to spin during the third Test at the Narendra Modi stadium with only Ishant Sharma and Jofra Archer being the only two pacers to pick up a wicket each. India’s spin pair of Ashwin and Axar Patel combined to take 19 England wickets, while Joe Root rattled India with his maiden five-wicket-haul in First-Class cricket.
“From that point of view, I do agree with Yuvraj Singh, but from the point of view that had they played on these kinds of pitches, probably not. Because see, wickets have been the same for everyone. Ashwin doesn’t ask for these kinds of wickets, it’s the team management that asks for it. And when you prepare such wickets, Ashwin is under more pressure to deliver,” Gambhir added.