Rohit Sharma defends Chennai pitch after India thrash England to level Test series

India batsman Rohit Sharma has taken aim at the critics who complained about the Chennai pitch in the second test against England, saying every team “takes advantage of home conditions”.

After losing the opening Test of the four-match series, India levelled with a 317-run win as England struggled against spin on a track where Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin notched centuries in the first and second innings respectively.

Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh called the pitch unacceptable while former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a beach.

But Sharma said India were within their rights to prepare a pitch to their liking.

“The pitch is the same for both teams, so I don’t know why there is so much discussion about it. Pitches have been prepared like this in India for years,” said Rohit ahead of the third test in Ahmedabad, which starts on February 24.

“Every side takes advantage of home conditions even when we travel. When we travel they (opponents) make our life difficult.

“We need to go with our team’s preference. That’s the meaning of home advantage, otherwise just take it away and the ICC should come up with a uniform rule everywhere for pitches. When we go abroad, people make our life difficult.

“I don’t think pitches should be debated at all. Debates can be held on players, their performances, [and] how they are batting or bowling, but don’t debate pitches. Both teams play on the same pitch and whoever plays better wins.”

Sharma’s 161 set the platform for India in the first innings even as the ball spun from the first session and kicked up dust on landing, and the 33-year-old said it was a matter of application after reading the conditions.

“As a batsman, depending on the pitch, you prepare yourself. Players are picked to play based on their skillset and mindset to play in challenging conditions.

“There are chances you will fail but it doesn’t matter as long as you learn from that.

“We don’t complain about the pitch when we play outside India, we just move on and others should do the same. I would tell the experts to talk about the cricket and not the pitches.”

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