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While some termed it a ‘naughty’ pitch, many slammed the Wanderers’ wicket at the end of the third day’s play of the third Test between South Africa and India. Chasing 241 to press for a whitewash, the hosts ended the day on 17/1 after opener Dean Elgar took a blow to his helmet, courtesy a rising delivery from pacer Jasprit Bumrah. The southpaw was hit on three occasions before the smacked his helmet grill.

India team manager Sunil Subramaniam, in the post-match conference, felt it was a ‘normal delivery’ and that Elgar couldn’t judge it well. He also added that the pitch has been playing the same role since day one of the third Test match.

We wanted to continue playing: Subramaniam

“The match referee had called me at tea in case the pitch got dangerous later,” Subramiam was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “We held the view that the pitch was the same for all three days. Today was the day when we had the least wickets. So we wanted to continue playing,” he added.

Play was called off because of that delivery to Elgar. I can tell you about my team, India are willing to play,” he said. He also said that it will be unfair to India if repair work is done on this track, as he felt India batted fine in this track.

Unfair to India if changes are made: Subramaniam

He took a slight dig at the hosts and said that they had no role in the preparation of this wicket and added that they have just come and played here.

“We are of the view that it was a normal ball that was bowled to Elgar. It was not a ball that cut alarmingly. It would be unfair to one of the sides if repair work is done on the pitch tomorrow. We have not prepared this wicket. This is a South African wicket. We have come and played here,” he added.

Sayantan Bhattacharjee

A student of the game. Averaged 35-plus in gully cricket.