Ottis Gibson reveals his thoughts about the future of the match
Skipper Faf du Plessis had stated before the match that they wanted a pitch that assisted pace and bounce, however, the extremity of the pitch is not what they expected either.
Updated - Jan 27, 2018 5:28 pm
Amidst the outrage and drama created by the pitch at Johannesburg in the ongoing third Test between India and South Africa, home side’s Coach Otis Gibson has reiterated that the Proteas side will not opt out and want to play the game. The future of the match was in jeopardy but the air has been cleared after a confirmation last night that the game will go on as scheduled.
Speaking to reporters, Ottis Gibson, said, “We are here to play cricket. We still want to play cricket. The match ref’s decision will be on player safety. If the match ref says play on, we are going to play once a decision is made, that’s it. We prepare like we do every morning. Throughout the whole game on both sides, you saw batsmen wearing a few. India didn’t complain and we didn’t either. Dean got in hit in the face, he wasn’t able to take evasive action. The match ref feels there is something there for him to look at. Once they make a decision, we will get on with it.”
There were questions about how unfair it would be if the game was called off or the pitch was repaired since India had already done their job. Moreover, India’s insistence that the game should go on is partly due to their upperhand in the game. Stating that the Indian side had a better knowledge of the conditions Gibson went on to say, “They had the upper hand on the game from the first day,” as reported by Indian Express.
The grass was cut down to 5mm: Gibson
Skipper Faf du Plessis had stated before the match that they wanted a pitch that assisted pace and bounce, however, the extremity of the pitch is not what they expected either. When asked if he felt this pitch looked excessive, Gibson added, “Not really. I have played here before and I have played here on a wicket that looked similar to this. both teams said it looked like a good pitch. The grass was cut down to 5mm. When we play in England, the grass is a similar sort of length. I don’t think we expected it to behave in the way that it did.”
“It started tough on the first day and it got a little worse. The one thing we have said – and everybody is making a big issue of grass – we’ve never asked for grass. We’ve asked for pace and bounce. If you are a groundsman and you feel like the best way to get pace and bounce is to leave grass on the wicket, that’s it. We get on and play. The wicket has gradually got worse. The umpires will make a decision, the reason why they are here is to make decisions on the safety on the pitch. Before you go on about India batting twice, there were balls taking off on a length and our captain was saying I am not sure this is fair either. It’s not like we are sour grapes,” he concluded by saying.