Alastair Cook says India captain Virat Kohli’s pitch claim was ‘strange’ (Pictures: BCCI / Getty)

Alastair Cook ‘does not blame’ India for preparing a spin-friendly pitch for the third Test against England but says it was ‘strange’ for Virat Kohli to describe the Ahmedabad surface as ‘very good’ for batting.

India clinched a ten-wicket victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium last week in an extraordinary Test match which lasted less than two days.

It was the shortest Test in terms of balls bowled since World War Two, with spinners accounting for 28 of the 30 wickets to fall.

England were bowled out for 112 and 81, while India also suffered a remarkable collapse in their first innings, losing seven wickets for 31 runs to be bowled out for 145.

Part-time spinner Joe Root claimed incredible figures of 5-8 from 6.2 overs on a pitch that has been widely criticised, but Kohli claimed poor batting was the issue rather than the surface.

Speaking at his post-match interview, Kohli said: ‘The quality of batting wasn’t at all up to standard by both teams. I think batsmen need to trust their defence much more than they’re presenting at the moment.

‘[It was] a very good pitch to bat on – especially in the first innings – and it felt like the ball was coming on nicely with the odd-ball turning.’

India beat England by ten wickets in a remarkable Test match (Picture: Getty)

Former England captain Cook disagreed with Kohli, however, although he refused to criticise India for preparing a pitch that would benefit them more than England.

‘I understand why fans watching on TV felt short-changed by the surface prepared for the third Test but actually I don’t blame India, although Virat Kohli’s remark that it was “very good to bat on” was strange,’ he told The Times.

‘If anything, the pitch was a compliment to England for how they had outplayed the hosts in the first Test. On a good surface, India saw that their opponents were more than their equal and decided to tilt the odds in their favour.

‘There was also the little matter of their qualification for the World Test Championship final in England this summer, which is dependent on them winning the series. Nice to see they take the championship seriously.’

Spinners Axar Patel and Ravinchandran Aswhin took 18 of India’s 20 wickets in the match and Cook admits he would have ‘struggled’ against Ashwin, who surpassed 400 Test scalps during the Test.

Cook, who averaged more than 50 in Asia, added: ‘On a normal pitch I would have waited for the ball I could clip to leg, the ball that could be swept and anything that could be driven safely or cut into the off side.

‘What we saw in Ahmedabad was not a normal pitch, however. Only three hours into the first day the ball was either skidding on, bouncing more than usual or turning to the extent that it was missing the stumps, the edge of the bat, the keeper’s gloves and being taken at first slip.

‘It got even more surreal when the part-time spinner Joe Root picked up a five-for in half an hour on the second morning.

Joe Root’s side need to win the fourth Test to draw the series (Picture: Channel 4)

‘When you’ve got so much variation off the pitch from a bowler who puts the ball in the right areas consistently then you worry that you may be a sitting duck if you bat conservatively.

‘The sweep shot can be a release valve but that too, as was the case in Ahmedabad, brought its own risks against Ashwin and although Ben Stokes looked to be proactive, he too eventually paid the price.

‘I never had Ben Stokes’ natural aggression so I would have backed my defence to wear down Ashwin. Eventually, I would have reasoned, he will tire and bowl a bad ball or be taken off.

‘The problem last week was that the ball with my name on it would probably have got me before that point.’

By beating England in Ahmedabad, India took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series, which concludes at the same venue next week.

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