'Dangerous' pitch not to halt India vs South Africa third Test on Day 4

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'Dangerous' pitch not to halt India vs South Africa third Test on Day 4
'Dangerous' pitch not to halt India vs South Africa third Test on Day 4

New Delhi : India vs South Africa third Test match will continue on Day 4, despite umpires finding it dangerous for the game play.

The game on third day was curtailed after umpires took the players from the field in the wake of Dean Elgar being hit in the grill by a bouncer from Jasprit Bumrah.

Match referee Andy Pycroft then met the field umpires and two captains, they decided that pitch is not dangerous enough to abandon the game.

The ICC tweeted: "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. 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."

The pitch was criticised by the experts too. 

Speaking on air, Michael Holding rated the pitch a "2 out of 100", and was even more vociferous when speaking to journalists. "It's a s**t pitch," he said. "You can interpret that. They should have called it off when (Murali) Vijay got hit. This is not a cricket pitch, this is dangerous. Call it off, forget it. You can't play cricket on that. I have no idea what has gone wrong but I know it's not a good cricket pitch. The last time I saw something like this, the match was abandoned in Jamaica in 1998, and it didn't even last this long."

Holding's fellow commentator, former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels, added: "The unfortunate thing is that nobody minds movement off the surface but it's the uneven bounce that's the problem. It is quite dangerous from a batting point of view when you have pace attacks bowling around the 140 mark, tall bowlers hitting the deck hard. It is dangerous and it's not ideal. I have seen pitches like this around the world but as we keep saying, you want a good contest between bat and ball and this one is not providing that. I'd give it a 3 out of 10."

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said on Twitter that the surface was "unfair" and called for the ICC to look into it, while Sunil Gavaskar, who is commentating on the series, bemoaned the inconsistent bounce but felt that it did not warrant the game being called off.