‘Want England to be Confused’: Zaheer Khan’s Advise on Pitch That’ll Benefit India in Rajkot

Last Updated: February 14, 2024, 13:24 IST

Rohit Sharma (left) and Rahul Dravid take a look at the Rajkot pitch. (AFP Photo)

Rohit Sharma (left) and Rahul Dravid take a look at the Rajkot pitch. (AFP Photo)

The pitches for the first two Tests of the five-match series between India and England had something for both the batters and the bowlers without either overtly dominant.

Zaheer Khan hopes that the pattern of the first two Tests between India and England as far as the nature of pitches is concerned remains unchanged for the Rajkot fixture. The pitches thus far, in Hyderabad and Vizag, have been quite fair to everyone – be it the batters, spinners or even the fast bowlers.

The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ollie Pope, Shubman Gill have shown that runs can be scored with proper application and a little patience. England’s greenhorn spinner Tom Hartley has held his own on pitches that haven’t been overtly spin friendly while Jasprit Bumrah has been a class apart, dazzling in conditions that aren’t tailormade for a fast bowler to excel.

Also Read: Jadeja Admits England’s Cricket ‘Different’ But ‘Not Difficult to Beat’

The sporting pitches have produced good contests without either side dominating and Zaheer advises India from falling to the temptation of preparing a spin-friendly track.

“I hope the pitch is on similar lines to the one in Hyderabad and Vizag,” Zaheer said on JioCinema. “On that kind of a surface, we should be able to see a good contest between bat and ball for the first two days and spin comes into play on the third day. You’ll see some reverse swing as well. And on the fourth and fifth days, you’ll have the spinners dominating.”

Zaheer says though England are prepared for the trial by spin, the pitches of the kind used in the first two matches will instill a sense of doubt in the minds of the visitors.

“If that is the pattern, it will make for a nice viewing experience for all the spectators and the fans will enjoy. England are up for that kind of a challenge, and you would want England to be debating four spin options or two seam options. You would want England to be confused when they are taking those decisions,” Zaheer said.

The third Test starts from February 15th and will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot.

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