The controversial manner in which day three of the ongoing third Test between South Africa and India ended in Johannesburg, the cricketing fraternity is divided into two halves.
The Wanderers pitch, where as many as 21 wickets had fallen on the first two days, offered exaggerated bounce and seam right from the start of the match but on day three it turned out to be nightmare for the batsmen as several of them copped blows to their bodies against balls kicking up off a good length.
The umpires finally had enough when Jasprit Bumrah’s bouncer hit Dean Elgar on his helmet, prompting them to halt the game and eventually no play was possible on the day. Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis, the two captains then met the match referee – with the India skipper looking seemingly miffed with the umpires’ decision.
Not surprisingly, the cricketing world is divided in two halves over the decision. While many feel that the umpires were right to halt the game 19 minutes before the scheduled time, some feel that the game should have gone ahead and the reason are quite clear. Just a few minutes ago, India had finished their second innings on the same pitch and did not object to the uneven bounce on the pitch at all, scoring a dodgy 247 to set the Proteas a tough 241-run target.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also expressed his views on the matter, launching a scathing attack towards Cricket South Africa. The India discard took to Twitter to slam the South African board and urged the International Cricket Council to continue the game.
“Who asked 4 such kind of wicket in Jburg?it was @OfficialCSA who asked for such track not our boys.our batsman’s didn’t even complained even once while batting on the same track..Bt SA don’t wanna play now..it’s not a fair wicket but who’s at fault ?Match must go on @ICC.”
Who asked 4 such kind of wicket in Jburg?it was @OfficialCSA who asked for such track not our boys.our batsman’s didn’t even complained even once while batting on the same track..Bt SA don’t wanna play now..it’s not a fair wicket but who’s at fault ?Match must go on @ICC
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 26, 2018
Game to continue as scheduled:
Team India will have a chance to finish the Test series on a high after the ICC confirmed the third Test will continue as scheduled on day four.
“The on-field umpires, in consultation with the match referee, and after speaking with both the captains and groundsmen, have decided that the Johannesburg Test will resume on time on Saturday. The on-field umpires will continue to monitor the pitch, and consult the match referee should the pitch deteriorate further. The welfare of the players is paramount and two of the most experienced match officials are in charge of the game and will take appropriate decisions,” the ICC said in a statement.
“Play on Friday was suspended shortly before scheduled close because the on-field umpires wanted to consult the match referee regarding the condition of the pitch.”