Ind vs Eng: Right shoes can work wonders when batting on dry tracks, says Azhar

New Delhi: While critics have questioned the wicket at the Narendra Modi Stadium for the pink-ball Test between India and England, former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin on Friday said that he cannot understand batsmen opting to wear spikes on the pitches that are offering assistance to the spinners.

He also said that he has seen a lot of batsmen scoring runs on dry wickets when they opt to wear shoes with rubber soles. Azharuddin named Sunil Gavaskar and Vivian Richards as some batters who have batted with rubber soles on dry wickets.

“It was disappointing to watch the batsmen come a cropper in the Ahmedabad Test. The key to batting on such dry tracks and rank turners is shot-selection and assured footwork. It makes little sense to wear spikes when batting. Rubber soles don’t hamper the ability of batsmen,” tweeted Azharuddin.

In another tweet, the former India batsman said: “I have seen some amazing Test knocks being played on tough surfaces by batsmen who wore shoes with rubber soles. The argument that batsmen can slip when running between wickets is countered by the fact that in Wimbledon, all tennis players wear shoes with rubber soles. And the ones that come to mind are not just Indians like Sunil Gavaskar Mohinder Amarnath and Dilip Vengsarkar but also many a visiting batsman like Sir Vivian Richards, Mike Gatting Allan Border, Clive Lloyd, and several others.”

India had managed to defeat England inside two days in the pink-ball Test. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that didn’t turn and skidded through from the spinners.

After both teams failed to shine in their first innings, England was bowled out for 81 in the second essay, setting India a target of just 49. The hosts chased down the total with ten wickets in hand to go 2-1 up in the series. There has been a lot of debate around the pitch once again, but India batsman Rohit Sharma clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons.

“Pitch didn’t do anything, honestly speaking, if I can recollect, most of the batsmen got out on straighter deliveries. We also as a batting unit, made a lot of mistakes while batting. We also did not bat well in the first innings, the pitch did not have demons, there is nothing like that,” Rohit said during the virtual press conference on Thursday.

Even skipper Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams. Kohli said the quality of batting was to be blamed as most of the batsmen got out to balls that didn’t turn.