England needs a miracle on Chennai’s ‘beach’

Australian batsman Mark Waugh described it as “inappropriate” while former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a “beach”.

But England assistant coach Graham Thorpe maintained a diplomatic silence on Sunday, refusing to comment on the suitability of the controversial pitch used for the second Test against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chennai.

All Throrpe would assume is that England now need a miracle to save the match on the spinning – friendly surface.

Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin helped bowl out of England for 134 on a pitch offering a turn from day one and kicked the dust ball after it landed.

“It’s very challenging on that surface for us on the second day,” Thorpe said at a video conference.

“They have a skillful spinning attack on their own terms and it was a really good toss to win. There are some balls in the pitch that you probably can’t do too much about.

“He’s definitely turned early in the game,” said Thorpe, a former England substitute.

“As for mentioning the suitability of the pitch for Test, that’s for someone above me to say,”

But many others had a voice.

Waugh commented on Twitter: “I all want a good match between a bat and a ball in a test cricket match but this pitch in Chennai cannot be accepted at a test match level.

“You can’t get the ball going through the top of the surface on day 1 from the main part of the pitch. Yes not from the footprints.”

Broadcaster Simon Hughes announced that India would get points in the World Test Championship, while Vaughan marked the “stinker” surface.

England needed “something very, very special” on Monday to maintain their 1-0 lead in the four-Test series, Thorpe said.

But Ashwin denied any demons in the park.

“Over and over again, there are conditions that will challenge you, whether it’s spinning or seam,” Ashwin, who took 5-43, told reporters.

“If the ball is moving around at 145-150km and off the deck, that has to be more challenging than someone bowling at 85-90km when the ball is spinning.

“Clearly, the challenges are much greater than when it comes to spinning.”

Ashwin was figuring out what he thought should be the batting technique on those routes.

“You have to give it to the bowler, spend your time and then deposit money later. It’s just another art form.”