Quizzed on whether he thought that the pitch for the third Test was a good surface for Test cricket, a visibly irritated Ashwin shot back: “I have a question back. What is a good cricket surface? Who defines it?” Asked if it was good contest between bat and ball, Ashwin fired back, “Yes, of course. The bowler was in the game. The batsman needs to bat well to get runs. There is absolutely no question about it. What makes a good surface? Who defines this? Seam on the first day, then bat well, then spin on the last two days. C’mon! Who makes all these rules? We need to get over it, and not talk about whatever picture we want to paint.
“If you’re asking whether it’s a good Test surface, I don’t see any of the players from England having an issue with the surface. They want to improve. They look like they want to have a contest. Is it the players and the people who are reporting that want their players to complain about the pitches? Because we’ve never done that on any of the tours,” stressed the 34-year-old.
Would he hope for a similar surface for the next Test? Ashwin answered: “It depends on what you’re hoping for. We’re hoping for a good cricket match. That’s that you should be hoping for, not (hoping) about the surface.”
Ashwin feels that people, including former cricketers, are missing the point that all pink-ball Tests have ended inside three days. “There’ve been some people who’ve messaged me and said, ‘the match finished in two days!’ What about all the three pink-ball Test matches that we’ve played? Everything has ended in a three-day time. When somebody just throws an opinion out there about a surface, and having played the game, unfortunately, they may not have played pink-ball Tests, so they do not understand this facet of the game.
“My angst against the whole thing is the fact that when people say something there are so many of them who are watching the same picture, but are not able to paint a different one compared to somebody who is driving and selling a certain case to us. This needs to stop,” he said.
Was it former India player Yuvraj Singh’s tweet, about the likes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh getting 1800 Test wickets if they had bowled on such pitches, that prompted Ashwin to post some cryptic tweets aimed at critics?
“The reason behind my tweets were definitely not in context to anybody in particular. When I read Yuvi pa’s tweet, I didn’t get affected because I didn’t find that he was telling us anything, trying to suggest anything. I didn’t find it anything wrong or agenda-driven. I have known ‘Yuvi pa’ for a long time and I have the utmost respect for him.
“With respect to your agendadriven thoughts, this is exactly what my tweets were about,” he said.