SA vs IND: Wanderers pitch termed 'poor' by the ICC

SA vs IND: Wanderers pitch termed ‘poor’ by the ICC

According to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, the pitch received three demerit points, as announced by the ICC on Tuesday.

Wanderers Pitch
Wanderers Pitch. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian team is currently on the tour of South Africa which includes 3 Tests, 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is. After almost a year-long winning streak at home, the Indian squad had to face bitter defeats in the initial two Tests and thus ended up losing the series to the hosts. The third Test was thus a matter of saving the reputation for the Indian side. They were able to end the match on the winning side but not without controversy. It was surrounding the pitch and now the ICC match referee has rated the Wanderers pitch ‘poor’.

As a result, many changes were made in the team by the captain Virat Kohli as an attempt to avoid a whitewash. The game commenced on 24th January at the Wanderer in Johannesburg. Team India had to face an excellent line of defence from Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar who stitched a brilliant partnership after an unprecedented attack from the opposition pacers.

The incident

It was Kohli who kept the bowlers motivated continuously and guided them through almost every spell. Among all these adversaries, the most difficult one to overcome was the extremely unpredictable and uneven pitch. The ball bounced from an odd length and rose to awkward height and several batsmen from both the sides were hit on the last couple of days. The epitome of it being the ball that hit Dean Elgar on the face of the helmet a delivery bowled by Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

On the third day of the game, Elger was hit nasty which proved too much for the umpires to allow any further play. The day was subsequently called off after umpires took the players off and it started to rain. It resumed only on the next day, i.e. the 4th day of the game. All this while the Indian team bowling in the 4th inning had gained an upper hand and were persistent enough to ensure the game continued.

Nevertheless, the match ended on a positive note for India as they managed a 63-run victory over the hosts and a 1-2 in the series. But after the match, according to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, the pitch received three demerit points, as announced by the ICC on Tuesday.

Andy Pycroft the referee forwarded a report to Cricket South Africa (CSA) which said, “The pitch prepared for the final Test was a poor one. It had excessively steep and unpredictable bounce and excessive seam movement.”