India upset over pitch-induced pause of play

It is learnt the Indian camp felt that the pitch was no more hazardous when Dean Elgar got hit late in the day than when M. Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane took all those blows on the body.

Dean Elgar is hit by a delivery during South Africa’s chase of 241 on Day Three. The “dangerous” pitch forced play to be halted early.   -  AFP

There was anger in the Indian camp after umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould decided to call off play for the day because of a “dangerous pitch” leaving the future of the third Test in considerable doubt.

It is learnt the Indian camp felt that the pitch was no more hazardous when Dean Elgar got hit late in the day than when M. Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane took all those blows on the body. Moreover, the Indians think the ball that struck Elgar did not rear from a good length area which would indeed have made it unnegotiable.

Report: Kohli, Rahane keep India in hunt on 'dangerous' pitch

The meeting between the umpires, the match referee and the two captains, it is believed, was quite heated, with Virat Kohli vehemently arguing for the match to go on with his team having a rare chance of an away win.

The feeling in the Indian camp is that if the umpires indeed wanted to stop play they could have done it earlier when the Indian batsmen were getting hit on the chest, glove, forearm, and the box because of the pitch’s inconsistent bounce.

Will the Test continue?

What is the future of the Test?

The final decision rests with the umpires. Under law 6.4 of the ICC though, 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. Kohli would not want South Africa to bat on a pitch that is easier for batting than what it was for his side.

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