HomeAnalysisPlay Called Off Early On Day 3 Over Pitch...

Play Called Off Early On Day 3 Over Pitch Concerns At Wanderers

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The third day of the final Test match between South Africa and India was stopped due to poor conditions of the pitch as match officials discussed the dangerous scenario on the ground and made a decision accordingly.
The hosts were 17/1 in pursuit of 241 runs to win the third Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. Opener Dean Elgar was hit thrice in three overs after there was burst of uneven bounce. Credit should be given to India for batting with character despite the hostile conditions and score 247 runs in the second innings.
Ajinkya Rahane top scored with 48 runs as skipper Virat Kohli (41) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (33) contributed with signig=ficant scores to get the total way past 200 runs and put pressure on the hosts. The Proteas lost Aiden Markram in the chase as Elgar was hit on the grill of his helmet off a rising ball from Jasprit Bumrah. Umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar began discussion and soon match referee Andy Pycroft joined them.
ALSO READ: Jasprit Bumrah Five-fer Helps India Lead Fightback Against South Africa
The players were taken off the field and captains and coaches of the two teams were called to discuss further course of action. The pitch at the Wanderers has been criticised widely for its uneven nature and the manner it has turned out to be especially on a third day pitch. The decision could come into force on Day Four on whether to proceed with the Test or not.

 ICC’s Take On Dangerous Pitch (Rule 6.4)

  • If umpires decide that the pitch is dangerous to play,  the match is stopped immediately and the match referee is informed.
  • The match referee, along with the umpires, talk to captains of both sides. If both captains agree to play, the match continues.
  • If it is decided to stop the match, match referee and umpires look to improve the pitch in order to start the match.
  • If the pitch can not be improved, the match is abandoned after calling it as a draw.
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STAT ATTACK: Only two Test matches have previously been called off due to unplayable conditions, both in the West Indies against England. In both instances, it was on the first morning of the game.
Earlier, India resumed the day at 49/1, lost KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession. Virat Kohli came in and shared two crucial stands with Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane. The 43 and 34 run partnerships were handy on conditions difficult against an in-form Proteas attack.
ALSO READ: Same Old Problems For India As South Africa Battle Hard In 3rd Test At Wanderers
Kagiso Rabada was in excellent form and produced a yorker to remove Murali Vijay (25) with the last ball before lunch. Kohli (41) showed resilience before he was bowled by a superb in-swinging delivery from the pick of the South African bowlers. He also took a brilliant one-handed catch off his own bowling to remove Hardik Pandya (4).

                  Runs              Balls           4/6              S/R
V Kohli                     41                79            6/0             51.90
A Rahane                     48                68            6/0             70.59
B Kumar                     33                76            2/0             43.52

Rahane kept battling on the other hand and looked solid in his knock that comprised of six boundaries. Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again took the command with his batting and chipped in with a well timed 33 runs. Mohammed Shami too played a blinder scoring 27 off 28 deliveries that included two sixes.
Rabada (3-69) was well supported by Vernon Philander (3-61) and Morne Morkel (3-47) who chipped in with wickets for the home side.

                  Overs              Maiden           Runs              Wickets
V Philander                     21.1                  5            61                    3
M Morkel                     21                  6            47                    3
K Rabada                     23                  5            69                    3

Kohli breaks record
The Indian skipper again showed the world his character and ability as a batsman. After a gritty 54 runs in the first innings, his 41 was another great effort. In the process, he became the highest run-getter in Tests as an Indian captain, surpassing MS Dhoni and Sunil Gavaskar. The current Indian captain with 3456 runs tops the chart ahead of Dhoni and Gavaskar, who have 3454 and 3449 runs respectively as captains of the Indian cricket team in whites.
South Africa have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, but are seeking a first ever clean-sweep over India.

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