As long as everyone keeps their mouth shut in India…: Rohit Sharma launches seething attack on pitch doctors

Image Source : PTI Team India skipper Rohit Sharma was quite vocal about assessment of pitches in India vs other places after Cape Town Test ended in just two days

Team India skipper Rohit Sharma was not going to back down as he came down heavily at the ICC, the match referees and everyone else, who is ready to criticise pitches in India at the drop of the hat when it starts spinning from Day 1 of a Test match. After the series decider between India and South Africa in Cape Town ended in just two days, Rohit Sharma was asked about the Newlands surface and the Indian captain said that overseas Tests are always challenging and didn’t mind playing on such pitches if everyone stayed quiet when it comes to Indian wickets.

Rohit said that like seaming conditions are challenging, spinning conditions also demand hard work and grind but people start crying ‘puff of dust’ from the first day itself when the balls turn from the start of the Test match while bringing ICC and the match referees into his firing line with regards to pitch ratings.

“I mean, we saw what happened in this match, how the pitch played and stuff like that. I honestly don’t mind playing on pitches like this. As long as everyone keeps their mouth shut in India and don’t talk too much about Indian pitches, honestly.

“Because you come here [in Test cricket] to challenge yourself. Yes, it is dangerous. It is challenging. So, and when people come to India, it is again pretty challenging as well. When you are put up against, a challenge like that, you come and face it. That’s what happens in India, but, in India on day one, if the pitch starts turning, people start talking about ‘Puff of dust! Puff of dust!’ There’s so much crack here on the pitch. People are not looking at that,” he added.

Recalling how the match referee rated the World Cup 2023 final pitch in Ahmedabad below-average, Rohit said that he would like to see how and on what factors does their decedition depends on while asking them to keep their eyes and ears open.

“I still can’t believe that the World Cup final pitch was rated below average. A batsman got a hundred there in the final. How can that be a poor pitch? So these are the things the ICC, the match referees, they need to look into and start rating pitches based on what they see, not based on the countries. I think that’s quite important.

“Honestly, I would like to see how the pitches are rated,” Rohit further said. “I want to see that. Whatever… that chart, I would love to see it, how they rate the pitches, because Mumbai, Bangalore, Cape Town, Centurion, all different venues, overhead conditions are different. The pitches deteriorate quite fast when the sun is beating down that hard on the pitch.

“And in India as well, we know that the conditions in India will spin without a doubt, but obviously people don’t like it because it spins from day one. But that’s not the point. If the ball seams from ball one, that’s okay, right, for everyone? That’s not fair. The ball starts spinning from ball one, it should be okay, in my opinion.

Rohit mentioned that if a pitch like Cape Town is also rated poor than he doesn’t have a problem but asked for more consistency and uniformity as far as decision-making regards to the pitches is concerned. 

“Otherwise, you stay neutral, and you start rating these kind of pitches also bad, because if you want the ball only to seam and not turn, in my opinion, that is absolutely wrong. So that’s my judgment, that’s my opinion on it. I’ll stick by it because I’ve seen enough of cricket now and I’ve seen enough of how these match referees and the ICC looks into these ratings. I have no issues in how they want to rate, but stay neutral to everything that you do,” Rohit further said.

It took only 642 balls for the match to end and India to get a result in their favour as they broke their Cape Town jinx but the pitch was nowhere near a good cricket wicket given the balls were rising outrageously even from the full or good lengths. India levelled the series 1-1 and would consider themselves lucky to have gotten a result in their favour after such a chaotic game.