IND vs SA: Call off the Test, forget it, Holding on Wanderers pitch

The track at the Wanderers was not fit for Test cricket. Even with advanced protective gear, somebody could have got killed out there here on Friday.

Morne Morkel at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.   -  AP

Some deliveries reared, the others shot through. Batsmen took blows on the body and the physio had to constantly venture out.

The track at the Wanderers was not fit for Test cricket. Even with advanced protective gear, somebody could have got killed out there here on Friday.

Batsmen were hit on the chest, glove, forearm, and the box. The inconsistent bounce after tall fast bowlers Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi hit the pitch hard made batting dangerous.

Michael Holding wanted the match to be abandoned, “Call it off, forget it,” he said.

Even as batsmen tended to injuries, umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould held discussions on the pitch and even had a lengthy conversation with curator Bethuel Buthelezi on the ground during the lunch break.

Under ICC regulation 6.2, only the umpires can decide whether the pitch is fit for play or not.

And under 6.4, once the umpires feel the match cannot continue on the pitch, they shall inform the match referee and the trio will seek the opinion of both captains whether play can resume. 

If the captains give the nod for continuation of play, the match shall commence again. Otherwise it will be abandoned as a draw.

There is a provision for the pitch to be repaired, if both skippers want to, but that is unlikely to happen in this case since it would give the team batting last, South Africa, an unfair advantage on the chase.