English fast bowler, who was a massive contributor to England’s famous win in Chennai with his 2 big wickets of Rohit and Gill in the first inning has termed Chennai pitch as the worst pitch he has ever seen. He said he and his team were confident of picking 9 remaining wickets once he saw the pitch on Day 5 although he, personally didn’t expect England to knock over India in this fashion.
Archer called it the worst surface because of its orange color and plenty of rough for the spinners which helped Jack Leach create a lot of pressure on Indian batsmen even though he didn’t get any wicket from that rough. Archer wrote a column for the Daily Mail where he expressed his views about the surface.
“On the fifth day it was probably the worst surface I’ve seen. Its orange color, bits missing, rough patches for the bowlers to aim at. When we walked out in search of nine wickets on the fifth day, I was very hopeful we would complete the job. Although these India players have big reputations and are at home, so should be able to cope with conditions better than anyone. So, I didn’t expect us to skittle them. Equally, I didn’t expect it to finish not long after afternoon drinks,” Jofra Archer wrote in his column.
Plenty of balls kept low on that surface and especially the one which dismissed Kohli in the second inning just rolled through the ground but most of the Indian dismissals can be attributed to bad defensive technique and some class bowling from James Anderson. Apart from Kohli, none of the other batsman got out to a ball that kept low or was unplayable and this behavior from the Chennai surface was kind of expected as well after it played so much in the favor of batsmen on the first couple of days. However by day five, the pitch had turned into a ” dustbowl “.
Can perform to the same level in second Test : Archer
England cricket team like to rotate their fast bowlers to manage their workloads which is why Stuart Broad is set to replace James Anderson despite the latter bowling so beautifully and setting up the win for England. Anderson had also played the last test match against Sri Lanka.
Archer however, is young and feels he doesn’t need the rest like others and he feels confident of performing well again despite only 3 days gap between two tests in this heat.
“There are only three days between Tests, and we use a rotation policy for the fast bowlers, but I have played back-to-back Tests before and, even though the heat can be taxing here, I know I can perform to the same level again,” Archer wrote.
The second Test starts from 13th February which a maximum of 15000 people present in the ground. This would be the first time crowd will return to stadium ever since the pandemic COVID-19 affected our lives. Archer and England are fully aware of the threat Indian team possesses and their ability of bouncing back from tough positions.