Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t expect the Ahmedabad pitch to change too much for the fourth and final Test against England. The Indian vice-captain predicted that the surface would once again assist the spinners when the two teams take to the field on March 4.
Discussions over the surface have gone through the roof after the pink-ball Test finished in under two days.
England admitted the pitch had turned much more than they expected, while former players Michael Vaughan and Monty Panesar slammed India for preparing tracks that deteriorated too quickly.
Ajinkya Rahane spoke to the media on Tuesday and was asked to give his take on the surface for the fourth Test.
“I think wicket would be similar. Compared to the third Test match and also the second Test match that we played in Chennai. Wicket would be similar. It will be a spinning track.”
Pitches from the second Test onwards have turned from day 1. Puffs of dust and patches have been visible from the first session itself, with the first day the ideal time to bat.
With Ajinkya Rahane expecting the pitch to have similar characteristics, whoever bats first will have to take full advantage of the fresh surface.
Turning tracks in Chennai and Ahmedabad has seen spinners run the show in India. The top four wicket-takers in the Test series are spinners, with Ravichandran Ashwin leading the way with 24 scalps.
To put things in perspective, Ishant Sharma is the leading wicket-taker when it comes to pacers, and has just six wickets in this series.
Ajinkya Rahane explains special adjustments for the pink ball
Players from both camps talked about how the pink ball skidded on faster after pitching in Ahmedabad.
With 21 out of 30 wickets in the third Test falling to straighter deliveries from spinners, Joe Root admitted the quicker balls caught them out.
Ajinkya Rahane agreed with Joe Root’s assessment, admitting that the Indian batsmen had to make adjustments to counter the pink ball.
But irrespective of the ball’s color, Rahane concluded by suggesting that the pitch would once again favor the spinners in Ahmedabad.
“Yes, pink ball made the difference. It was coming much quicker off the wicket compared to the red ball. That’s the adjustment that we had to make. But as I said wicket will be a lot similar compared to the last two Test matches.”