Twitter Reactions: Play called off due to ‘dangerous’ Johannesburg pitch

Twitter Reactions: Play called off due to ‘dangerous’ Johannesburg pitch

Shaun Pollock and ex-India skipper Sunil Gavaskar even criticised the pitch during a pitch report.

Wanderers Pitch
Wanderers Pitch. (Photo Source: SA Cricket Magazine)

After sweeping up the hosts on Day 2, courtesy a five-er from Jasprit Bumrah, the Virat Kohli-led side looked adamant to establish their dominion. The Men in Blue restricted the Proteas to 194 in their reply to India’s 187. But the day which brimmed with excitement and anticipation highlighted one thing. The Wanderers pitch was producing variable bounce that seemed ‘dangerous’ as wickets tumble on the second day. And evidently, it did as batsmen were struck on the fingers and body as the teams battled for supremacy.

Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock and ex-India skipper Sunil Gavaskar even criticised the pitch during a pitch report at tea for SuperSport television. And this issue continued on Day 3 as well. After Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli took India further ahead amidst increasing concern about the condition of the pitch, the severity magnified when the Proteas took the field to bat.

The duo of Vijay and Kohli showed resolve in difficult conditions to add 43 runs for the fourth wicket before Vijay was bowled by Kagiso Rabada with the last ball before lunch. Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar batted sensibly after Kohli’s dismissal and took India’s to 240.

Elgar hit several times before umpires call of play

Chasing 241 for victory, the host lost an early wicket in Aiden Markram. And soon enough, the pitch started acting dubiously as Elgar fell to the ground after getting hit off a delivery in the sixth over. No sooner did that happen, Elgar needed attention from the physio once again, this time after he suffered a nasty hit on his helmet grill, with the ball somehow not making its way to the batsman’s face.

Again in the ninth over, Elgar cops a blow on his left shoulder after the ball kicks up higher than usual and deviates a lot more. Just one delivery late on the third one, it happens again. Elgar gets smacked on his helmet grille off a short delivery. Startled with that bounce, he needed medical attention immediately. The umpires have a chat among themselves, then with match referee Andy Pycroft, before calling the players off the field.

The last time play was called off due to an unplayable pitch in the whites was in Jamaica, 1998 during a Test between West Indies and England.