Day 3 of the third test match of the freedom series will be remembered as the day the condition of the pitch took centre stage as the uneven bounce caused by the cracks proved unplayable at times and was described as dangerous.
“Two out of 100 [is my rating for the pitch]. It’s a s**t pitch. You can interpret that. They should have called it off when Vijay got hit. This is not a cricket pitch, this is dangerous. Call it off, forget it. You can’t play cricket on that. I have no idea what has gone wrong but I know it’s not a good cricket pitch. The last time I saw something like this, the match was abandoned – in Jamaica 1998, and it didn’t even last this long.” Said Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler and television commentator present at the Wanderers Test
The batting team (India) were on the receiving end which left some of their batsman needing medical attention. Despite these conditions India managed to post a decent total of 247 leaving South Africa requiring 241 runs to win the game.
“As a cricketer when you represent your country whatever challenges that confront you, you face and welcome that and you cannot call the wicket dangerous just because Elgar got hit whilst our players were hit by the ball as well.” said AM Rahane at the press conference.
South Africa were sent in to bat, and were on the receiving end of the uneven bounce of the pitch, notably Dean Elgar fell victim to a bouncer from Kumar and ended up needing medical attention.
It was however after the second incident when Elgar was struck on the his helmet ring and required further medical attention that the umpires decided to consult the match referees and the both captains before calling the days play to an end. Play is set to continue on day four with the Proteas having a mammoth task chasing 241 with 9 wickets on hand.
“There are four umpires here and a match referee and I think it is up to them to make a decision on the pitch and player safety which in my opinion is paramount.” said Ottis Gibson, head coach of the Standard Bank Proteas.
The Proteas ended the day on 17 for one and with two days remaining in the test match and play set to continue on Saturday 26 January 2017.