The pitch on the fifth day of the first Test against India at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here was the “worst surface I’ve seen”, England fast bowler Jofra Archer has said.
“On the fifth day it was probably the worst surface I’ve seen — its orange colour, bits missing, rough patches for the bowlers to aim at,” Archer wrote in his column in British daily Daily Mail.
“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,” he has said. England won the first Test by 227 runs after bowling out the hosts for 192 in a chase of 420 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
Archer said that the win felt like a “serious achievement” but the team did not overdo its celebrations as there are still three Tests left to play. Archer himself did not have any as he was suffering from stomach ache.
“I’m not a big beer drinker and I would normally have a spirit to celebrate, but I didn’t partake because I wasn’t feeling well. I had a serious tummy ache, which might have been food poisoning, so I just slept. Stuart Broad didn’t feel too good either. Nevertheless, because of the quality of the opposition, our win felt like a serious achievement,” he said.
“Winning by 227 runs against that India team in their own conditions makes it that bit more special. It needs to be put into perspective, of course. It’s only the first game and it would be dangerous to get giddy. We mustn’t do that,” said Archer.
The 25-year-old fast bowler also said that the match showed that it is going to be a good series.
“Aside from the pride in the performance, though, it also showed this is going to be a very good series, with results in every game. If conditions are similar in Ahmedabad, I don’t see any draws,” he said, referring to the venue of the third and fourth Tests.
“I’d not played first-class cricket here before last week, but I know from experience of the IPL [Indian Premier League] that most wickets in India deteriorate significantly, and seeing how the pitch changed during this Test shows us what we have in store,” wrote Archer.
The second Test starts on Saturday.