Ravi Shastri: Surprised to see the pitch wet

The India coach revealed he was taken aback when having a look at the Wanderers pitch on fourth day morning. It was considerably wet despite being under covers.

The pitch was a matter of conjecture for all concerned.   -  Getty Images

India coach Ravi Shastri revealed he was taken aback when having a look at the pitch on fourth day morning.

Speaking to Sportstar here on Sunday, Shastri noted, “I was very surprised to see the pitch so wet, although it was under covers, when I saw it on Saturday morning.”

Shastri added, “I don’t know how that could have happened. Then the South Africans used the heavy roller to bind the surface. It seemed to play better.”

Report: Mohammed Shami leads India to consolation win

The Indian coach has a point. The cracks on the surface are more visible and dangerous when the pitch is dry.

The Indian team was very unhappy with the extent of moisture on the surface on the fourth morning since it had rained in the early hours of the other days too and the pitch, protected well by covers, had been dry. It is learnt that a report could be sent to the BCCI in this regard.

Asked about the umpires stopping play late on day three after Dean Elgar was struck on the helmet by a Jasprit Bumrah lifter, Shastri said, “I never had any doubt that the Test would resume. But the momentum was with us when play was stopped with about 20 minutes remaining.”

‘Up there with the best’

Shastri termed India’s victory at the Wanderers one of the country’s finest away wins. “It’s right up there with the best. Look at the conditions, the wicket, and what we were up against. Many laughed at us when we elected to bat on a green pitch. But we had our reasons. Then the way we fought. We played like the No. 1 team in the world.”

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos