India team director Ravi Shastri sees nothing wrong in Tests finishing inside three days and suggested South Africa could expect another rank turner in the fourth and final fixture in Delhi next week.
India humbled South Africa with two days to spare in the series-opener at Mohali before repeating the feat in another dustbowl in Nagpur on Friday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series against the world’s top ranked Test team.
Forty wickets tumbled in Nagpur with Indian opener Murali Vijay’s 40 the top individual score in the low-scoring conTest that followed the rained-out second Test in Bangalore.
Visiting captain Hashim Amla could not remember if he had faced more challenging conditions but Shastri was unapologetic about the tracks India have rolled out in the series.
“Nothing wrong with it,” the former all-rounder told ESPNcricinfo. “I would hope the one in Delhi is absolutely the same. I have no qualms about it.
“It just goes to show that with the amount of one-day cricket being played, the tendency to graft, the tendency to spend long hours at the crease is diminishing.
“(The pitch was) absolutely not (a problem). It’s on both sides…You have to stop cribbing and get on with the job at hand.”
Far from being worried about Tests finishing prematurely, Shastri said he would prefer such results to run feasts like that in Perth, where Australia and New Zealand scored a combined 1,672 runs in the drawn second Test recently.
“Nothing wrong with that (matches finishing inside three days). It (Nagpur) was a Test match that was moving all the time. You compare this Test to the Test match in Perth, I would pay money for a ticket for this game… To hell with the five days.”
On a track that offered prodigious turn from day one, the Indian spinners claimed all 20 South African wickets in Nagpur, offie Ravichandran Ashwin taking 12 alone.
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell called the pitch “diabolical” while compatriot and former opener Matthew Hayden termed it “Bunsen Burner”, a slang for a turner.
“Let them sit in Australia and talk about their pitches. Tell them not to waste their time about Indian tracks. Come and play here,” said Shastri.
“Which rule tells me that a ball can’t turn on day one? Where does it tell me in the rulebook it can only swing and seam?” he added.