England in India 2012-13 October 27, 2012

Turning tracks for England Tests not unfair - Kohli

ESPNcricinfo staff

In wake of the criticism leveled at India over the absence of spinners in the A-team squad that will play England in a warm-up game, batsman Virat Kohli has said there would be nothing unfair with making England play on spinner-friendly pitches in the Tests. On India's tour to England and Australia last year, he said, the conditions during the warm-up games and those in the Test matches were vastly different, which was not 'fair' to India.

"Why not [turning pitches]? We were given flattest of tracks during practice matches in England and Australia and then suddenly presented with a green-top during the Tests," Kohli told PTI. "During practice matches, we would face those 120kmph bowlers … If they [England and Australia] wanted to be fair to us, they could have provided us with same kind of tracks for practice matches, like what were used in Tests.

"Especially, when they knew that visiting teams get very less time to practice. Now they would be playing on turning tracks and definitely would know where they stand."

The tour of India marks the return of Kevin Pietersen to the England side, after a 10-week stand-off with the team. Kohli said he will be under a lot of pressure to perform, especially taking into account England's traditional struggles against spin.

"There will be huge pressure on KP as he has been playing in India for quite some time and considered to be a good batsman against spin.

"You may say that the senior England cricketers have an understanding of these conditions but let me tell you, it's not that easy. You might feel they would like to hit spinners but end up doing exactly opposite."

He pointed to England's tour of the UAE, where they were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan in the Tests, as an example of England's continuing issues with spin. "That particular series, there wasn't much turn on offer but England couldn't negotiate one quality spinner [Saeed Ajmal]; they lost the battle in their heads."

Kohli also defended his team-mates, saying the talk about them being poor against short-pitched bowling did not make sense. "I have never really understood this theory. Are people like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag poor players of short-pitched bowling? Show me how many Indian players were out to short-pitched deliveries in Australia?

"No batsman in world cricket is comfortable against a good bouncer. If you get a good bouncer, give credit to the bowler rather than finding chinks in batsman's armoury."

Similarly, he backed MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher, saying any criticism directed at them for India's recent poor overseas form was unfounded. "Under him [Dhoni], we have won the World Cup, been No. 1 in Tests ... He has also encouraged the juniors."

"Duncan is also a thorough professional. He would quietly stand in one corner and observe. If he needs to say something, he would come up and give a suggestion. He believes international cricketers know their jobs. If we have lost eight Test matches, blame us and not the coach."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • india on October 30, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    @KiwiRocker- Ho really kiwi speaks about india. Come on man don't worry about indian team better worry about kiwi team. Kiwi got whitewashed against bangladesh what a shame .ICC pls review the status of NZ team far below the bangala team. Lol

  • narsimha on October 30, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    avacantslip- how long u celebrat those loses, u r team was also white washed in AUS IN 2010, we were bad during those tours , dont waste u r energy on history if we goes back in erlier tours our team did reasonably well in those plces , more over ENG beat us in thier own backyard not out side thier comfort zone instead of always dreaming IND loses pl concentrat on u r team SA is waiting .

  • Arul on October 30, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    I like this guy. Every words has a point. No one can deny that.

  • Valavan on October 30, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    @VacantSlip,@Shan, you both wasting time here, say your opinion once, anyway these guys refuse to accept the facts as it is, these guys worry about England more than us, thats just laughable, now they can speak ofcourse because its Vs India, they have been chasing England since they lost last year, looking for something to loath about. Coming to Topic, I welcome kohli to give rank turners, but his blushing on greentops in England is mere fantasy as he never played any test there. All the more producing turner tracks will give 4 - 0 for India, is that possible, comon guys, then pick 4 spinners instead, Indian Fans reflect their team, dhoni, gambhir,kohli and so on. cricinfo please publish.

  • Sharon on October 30, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    @Agila on (October 28 2012, 14:19 PM GMT) Did you really write "India lost then (in England), coz they "did not" play to their potential"! Do you really believe that!?!? SO what about the 4-0 in Australia that happened 6 month later, eh? was that India "not playing to their potential" as well? India lose 8 consecutive Test match because they "did not play to potential"!? Laughable. So, according to you when a team loses it is because they "did not play to their potential" - not because other team was better. Top quality comedy boy material!!! @Agila - keep going with these wonderfully amusing excuse. Very very funny to read.

  • Dummy4 on October 30, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    Playing Spin is an art like Playing Short Stuff.If one can become an artist of two he will be called a legend.It is Foolish to say that India is Taking Advantage in providing Rank Turners.For any subcontinent country for this matter can only and will only provide these Wickets.The Reason is we are more accustomed playing it and Are the Experts in playing Spin.Accept the fact that there are 2 things namely Spin and pace when it comes to bowling.So it will be Obvious that there will be Spinning wickets like seaming wickets.If you can't accept it You are just doing KG in Cricket.... Peace....All the best India!!!.If they can Bounce us out,We can make their Heads Spin. -- Vettipayyan-- Fearing the fast ball is understandable, as its human defence, but fearing against Spin actually shows the opponent lacks brains cos Spin is intelligence. ~Awesome~

  • John on October 30, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Please kindly publish this time , nothing untrue or of offence and touches on issues others haven't TBH Kohli (as brilliant he is) comes across as an excuse maker here.I agree that India should prepare the best pitches to suit their side but just one thing which no one seems to have noticed from what Kohli says. He says about Eng preparing 2 types of pitches - flat ones for the practice games and green tops for the tests. Now "green tops" is debatable but say they were all green tops/difficult pitches-how did England manage to score runs on them?And if you're saying it's because we're more use to them then surely the reverse is true when we have probs in SC.Anyway what no one seems to notice is that Kohli did not play a solitary match in England so how can he judge how difficult the pitches were to bat on? BTW How come Kohli is actually being hailed for speaking his mind and when it's an England player just speaking positively and not giving it the big one he is being called arrogant?

  • John on October 30, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Dear ESPN - Please could you kindly publish the below comment this time. There is nothing untrue or of offence to any poster on here and it contains points which no one else has touched upon. I've resubmitted my original comments which I hope will be published this time. But 2 things 1- As others pointed out - India hardly covered themselves in glory in warm up matches on what Kohli describes Flat Tracks and I was going to say (and I don't think anyone else has mentioned this so far) that I didn't recall Kohli playing in any of the tests , but then I thought he must have to say such things as it sounded like he was talking from experience.So I checked the scorecards and sure enough HE DID NOT PLAY ONE SINGLE TEST IN ENGLAND , so I thought well he must at least have played at least one of the warm up games to know how the flat tracks they were given felt to bat on and rather comically HE PLAYED NEITHER OF THE WARM UP GAMES EITHER. - GENIUS!

  • Shanmugam on October 30, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    @SamRoy, "worser than any first class tail ender in India against spin", now, now, calm down will ya? I can make some really tall claims too, like "except Tendulkar, Indian batsmen are worse than any first class tail-ender in England against pace". Actually, that isn't as bad as your statement, our batsmen's weaknesses against spin notwithstanding. Raina is probably among the worst test batsmen around. Sehwag and Gambhir have lost it, while, whisper, Tendulkar seems to be past it. You can talk low of our batting if you still had the likes of Dravid and Laxman. Now that you don't, perhaps, our batting is not worse than your's. Bowling? well, the less said about Indian bowlers the better. Cook was decent against spin in the UAE - I believe he scored our highest score in that series. Prior is pretty good too. Bell, Bairstow, and whoever we pick to partner Cook at the top of the order will struggle.

  • Venkat on October 30, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    India got ambushed in the 2nd innings of the second test in the last series in England with short balls of uneven bounce with the new ball. Why can't we return the favor, as they are hard for anyone to play those? Our pace bowlers will need to use the uneven bounce better, also with variantion of the force with which you hit the pitch (deck) and speed (especially while touring overseas where there is much more scope for this). It is tougher for pce bowlers to do well in India. BTW, it was one of the poorest test innings from India, they literally ran out of gas and approached it so poorly.

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