It’s South Africa’s wicket, they should be ready to play: Team India
Johannesburg :Making clear India’s stand, team manager Sunil Subramanian on Friday said the Wanderers wicket was prepared by South Africa and not by them so the hosts must be prepared to resume the game, which was halted on the third day owing to a dangerous pitch.
Play was stopped late in the final session with South Africa placed 17 for one in their 241-chase, on Day 3 of the third and final Test in Johannesburg.
Asked if India would be willing to continue with the game after repairs had been made to the pitch, he replied: “It could be unfair to one of the sides. We had not asked for this wicket. This is South Africa’s wicket. We have come and played here. There is nothing for us to be upset about.”
“We have the bowling arsenal to give it back. As I said, it’s not a wicket we prepared. When they come to our country, we prepare the wickets and they should be prepared to play,” he added.
Revealing what transpired during the day, Subramanian said,”The match referee (Andy Pycroft) called me during tea time and said ‘just in case if the wicket were to get dangerous (unfit for play) then captains would be consulted to take the game forward.”
“We held the view that the wicket has been the same for both teams for all three days. And today is the day when the least wickets fell and the strike rates were the highest. We would like to continue to play,” he added.
When asked if the match referee had deemed the pitch too dangerous to play, the manager replied in the negative.
“No. He said in case if the new ball were to be taken — and the new ball was around 25 overs away at that time — it might behave dangerously. Play was called off because the ball that hit Dean Elgar on the helmet. Subsequently the captains were called. Both captains, the match referee and the umpires had a meeting. Play was called off because of that delivery (to Elgar),” he said.
Elgar was hit three times, twice by Bumrah in one over before play was suspended. The ball that hit him on the helmet was actually a short ball and not a length ball that just reared off.
“That’s the view we held too. There has been exaggerated bounce on this wicket but the ball to Elgar was not the one that cut alarmingly. This is what has been happening the last three days. So there was nothing new,” Subramanian said.
“Umpires are the final judges on the fitness of the ground. Regardless of the captain’s views, they take the final call. Of course both the captains will come forward with their views but the final decision lies with the umpires,” he added.