New Delhi, March1: West Indian batting legend Viv Richards is not amused with past and present English cricketers “moaning and groaning” about the spin-friendly pitches in India and said the visitors did not prepare well for the challenge.
The newly-laid Motera track in Ahmedabad became a subject of debate after India crushed England inside two days in the third Test to go 2-1 up in the four-match series. The severe criticism came from former England captains like Michael Vaughan and a section of the British media.
All the chatter has not gone down well with Richards, whose incredible range of strokes and fearless approach to the game terrorised the best of bowlers in his prime in every corner of the cricketing world.
“I’ve been asked questions recently about the Test match that was played in India, the second and third Test match against England.
“And I am a little confused about the question really because there seems to be a lot of moaning and groaning about the wicket that they were playing on,” Richards said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
“I just felt that the ones who are moaning, in my opinion, should realise that there are times that you’re going to get a seaming track, a ball that is basically jumping off a good length and everyone thinks that’s a problem for batters,” he reasoned.
The 68-year-old pointed out that playing in India has mostly been about tackling quality spinners and that England may not have done their homework properly ahead of the tour.
Weighing in on the debate, the batting great said, “… But now you’ve seen the other side, and this is why I think it was given the name Test match cricket, because of the test of the mind and will and everything else that goes with it when you’re competing.
“And the complaints have been that the wicket is spinning too much and all that sorts of stuff. This is another side of the coin guys.
“People seem to forget that if you’re going to India, you should expect that. You are going to spin land. You should basically prepare yourself to know what you’re going to encounter.”
Richards said that India have pushed England out of their comfort zone, weeks after the visitors started the series with a big win.
“Ever since that first Test match, England were in their comfort zone. They have now been taken out of their comfort zone at present and they have got to find ways and means to cope with what they are going to encounter.
“Spin is also a part of the game, this is what a Test match brings. The Indian pacers have been brilliant over the past few years in terms of substance, the wicket-taking ability and stuff like that.”
The legend urged the English team to work harder and face the challenge resolutely.
“…now that you’re in India, you are going to encounter things and have got to find a way. You’re going to get dirty. There is nothing in the rule book that says I’ve got to score my runs in pretty, classical ways,” he said. (PTI)