The third Test between South Africa and India will begin on 24th January, and the hype around the pitch at the Wanderers began ever after the second Test finished. The pitch curator at Centurion came under the serious scrutiny of the South African captain Faf Du Plessis who was heavily in favour of pacey and bouncy pitches before the start of the series.
South Africa won the second Test by 135 runs at Supersport Park in Centurion, but the Proteas skipper highly criticised the pitch curator for preparing an ‘uncharacteristic’ Centurion wicket and more of a subcontinent wicket. However, the Indian team could not take much advantage of the conditions.
However looking at the Johannesburg wicket, the South African skipper won’t have much of an issue this time around. Looking at the latest pictures of the pitch at the Wanderers, the batsmen must find a hiding place for themselves. The Proteas are looking for perfect revenge of the drubbing they faced in India in 2015. Due to a strict protocol at the Wanderers, the curator is not willing to talk about the pitch without any permission.
Du Plessis on the other hand does not want to blame the Centurion pitch curator Bryan Bloy alone and wants Cricket South Africa to look into the matter. He said:
“I was very concerned, leading up to the Test match. It didn’t look like a Centurion wicket that I know. That is a concern, to be honest. I am very honest about good things and when we get it right but it’s also fair to comment on where we can get better. I believe this was an opportunity that we missed.”
“We can blame the groundsman but we also have to blame ourselves. We made a process where we make sure CSA has someone that looks after the groundsmen to get the right kind of pitches when we play against teams. We never wanted something ridiculous, we just wanted a pitch with pace and bounce. I think there is concern that we are not getting it right and this is not the first time. I can think of three or four occasions over the last 12 months. That’s something I will be taking up and making sure we can improve.”
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