“Don’t blame pitch…” – Aakash Chopra shares views on England’s innings and questions Ben Stokes’ batting position


Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra lashed out at the England team for their poor batting performance in the first Test against India. He said that it wasn’t a 246-run pitch and they shouldn’t blame the surface for poor outing.

England didn’t have the kind of outing they wanted in the first innings against India in Hyderabad. They were bundled out for just 246 runs and looked clueless against the spinners. They had a decent start as they added 55 runs for the opening start.

With the kind of start they had, it seemed that they would end up with a big total. However, that wasn’t the case. The likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel spun web around the batters and didn’t let them settle at all.

A few batters including Ben Duckett, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow had got starts but they couldn’t get going. They all perished to spin and it’s fair to say that there were some poor shots as well. The pitch didn’t have any demons as it turned normally.

The English fans and media called the pitch challenging and said that the surface played a huge part in their poor outing. Even opener Ben Duckett said that the ball turned sharply and the conditions were tough to bat.

Aakash Chopra said that he assessed the pitch along with Anil Kumble and they didn’t find anything like a dust bowl and it wasn’t crumbling or dry. In a video posted on his YouTube channel, he explained:

246 runs were scored. I went alongside Anil Kumble and had a look at the pitch at Tea. I said – ‘the pitch is alright’. It wasn’t a dust bowl. It’s a spin-friendly pitch. It’s probably not a first day but a second-day pitch. However, neither was the pitch crumbling nor was it too dry.

Aakash Chopra further hit out at England fans and media, saying that blaming pitching isn’t the right thing as the visitors’ batting didn’t have the might at all. He explained:

“It’s a decent pitch. Of course, India’s spin-bowling quality is very good. But in my opinion, don’t blame the pitch at all. Your batting didn’t have the might at all. It wasn’t a 246-run pitch. It was a 350-run pitch at least, which you didn’t score.”

In my opinion, that’s not right – Aakash Chopra on Ben Stokes batting position

Ben Stokes, who batted at No.6, slammed a magnificent half-century and ended with an innings of 70 runs. His knock made sure that England got around 250 runs on the board.

Aakash Chopra wasn’t impressed with Ben Stokes’ batting position, saying that he’s playing a proper batter and should bat higher in the order. Elaborating on the same, he added:

“If you see Test cricket worldwide, you don’t see a pure batter at No. 6. You will either see a wicketkeeper or an all-rounder at No. 6. You can keep saying anything, Ben Stokes is not bowling at the moment. He has nearly 200 wickets in Test cricket but is currently playing as a batter.

“Batting at No. 6 implies you have Ben Foakes with you very quickly and after that, just the tail. In my opinion, that’s not right. You don’t have accountability of getting out at No. 6. The captain needs to bat slightly up the order to fight this battle.”

At stumps on Day 1, India was 119/1 and are 127 runs behind England’s score. Yashasvi Jaiswal is batting at unbeaten 76 runs whereas Shubman Gill was unbeaten at 14.

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