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Joburg test match to resume despite 'dangerous' Wanderers pitch

27 January, 2018, 20:35 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Pitch red tape needs to be cut for players' safety, says Elgar

Umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, in consultation with match referee Andy Pycroft, took the players off the field earlier than scheduled on the third day after South African opener Dean Elgar was hit on the grille of his helmet by a short ball from India's Jasprit Bumrah.

In January 1998, England were 17/3 against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Jamaica when the umpires stopped play because of a hazardous pitch.

Former players Sunil Gavaskar and Jonty Rhodes, watching the proceedings from the commentary box felt that the pitch had nothing to do with the Shami delivery that hit Elgar. However, they have also said they will continue to play should the match referee deem the pitch safe.

There was no official word, but if play was to be abandoned at the Wanderers, it would be only the third time in test cricket history that a match was called off for risky conditions.

The Proteas will resume after the lunch break with Amla on 27 off 61 balls and Elgar on 29 off 100‚ and the pair will be looking to improve their promising partnership of 64 runs from 156 deliveries. The ball landed almost eight-and-a-half meters from the base of the stump and climbed slightly higher than usual.

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South Africa's Hashim Amla says they could chase down 270 in the final innings of the third and final Test against India, but they will need some luck on a wicket that has considerable pace, bounce and lateral movement. Sometimes it jumped off a length, and also seamed back in, leaving the batsmen nowhere to go.

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"Wicket was challenging. It was similar for both the teams".

"They should have called it off when (Murali) Vijay got hit", Holding later explained, off air.

"I think about 250. even if it gets to 270", he said when asked what target South Africa could manage.

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"When you are batting with a new ball it is hard, but you can't call it unsafe", Rahane said.

However, once Vijay was clean bowled by Kagiso Rabada for 25, Kohli followed soon after as he suffered the same fate after scoring 41.

Shortly after, the rain came and play was brought to an end for the day.

Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel was promoted to open the batting and the little left-hander batted brightly to score 16 off 15 balls before he was caught at gully off Vernon Philander from an inside edge which looped off his thigh pad.

Rahane wouldn't get dragged into speculating whether South Africa didn't feel like continuing with the game because of the situation they found themselves in. "It is not risky, it is completely similar for both teams".

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India were bowled out for 247 in their second innings. Initially, they went through a tough passage with a lot of plays and misses. He contributed individually 48 but in tandem with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he added 55 runs for the seventh wicket to further India's chances in the Test. "I hope he's fine", Rahane said of Elgar, "(but) I don't think the wicket is too unsafe". It was a surprise how the surface played this morning.



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