India would like to continue playing, says team manager

There were contrasting opinions from the two sides at the conclusion of the third day’s play in Johannesburg.

Ajinkya Rahane... “When you are batting with the new ball it is challenging but you cannot call it a dangerous wicket.”   -  AP

There were contrasting opinions from the two sides at the conclusion of a dramatic day’s play here on Friday.

Indian team manager Sunil Subramanium revealed, “The match referee called me at Tea time in case the wicket got dangerous, in which case both the captains would be consulted. We had the view that the wicket has been the same for all three days.”

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He added, “Today we had the highest strike rates [batting] and the least wickets. We would like to continue playing. The match referee was fearful that in case the new ball was going to be taken, it might be behave dangerously. We are willing to play. Umpires are the final judges on the fitness of the ground, regardless of the views of either of the captains. Tomorrow before the start of the play, we will be told. In between the match-referee and the umpires will discuss.”

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane said, It was challenging. The wicket was similar for both teams. It was completely same for everyone. Our approach is that we want to play and we want to win this Test match. That ball [to Dean Elgar] was back of a length. It kicked off slightly more than usual. The bounce on this wicket is completely natural. Not dangerous.”

Not ‘too dangerous’

Rahane said, “The umpires were checking on me because I got hit on the elbow and glove, they were telling me ‘If you want to call your physio you can and take your time, don’t be in a hurry.” We told them we want to continue playing. We didn’t want to go back. When you are batting with the new ball it is challenging but you cannot call it a dangerous wicket. I don’t think the wicket is too dangerous. We told them we want to continue playing.”

Read: India upset over pitch-induced pause of play

South African coach Ottis Gibson said, “The match referee’s decision will be on player safety. If the match referee says play on, we are going to play once a decision is made, that's it. We prepare like we do every morning.”

He continued, “Throughout the whole game on both sides, you saw batsmen getting hit. India didn't complain and we didn't either. Dean got hit on the face and he wasn't able to take evasive action. The match referee feels there is something there for him to look at. Once they make a decision, we will get on with it.”

Test to continue

There was an official communication from the Indian team at night here that following discussions between the match referee and the two captains, play will commence at scheduled time on day four. The Test will go on.

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