Gaming

‘…They shouldn’t play Test cricket’: Gavaskar hammers batting at Cape Town | Cricket

The pitch dished out for the India vs South Africa second Test match at Newlands in Cape Town is not ideal for Test cricket by any means. The steep and unpredictable bounce on offer from good length makes it almost impossible for batters to feel safe even after spending a considerable amount of time in the middle as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli found out on Day 1. The pitch report by Sunil Gavaskar and Shaun Pollock before the start of second day’s play further strengthened the belief.

Shaun Pollock (L), Sunil Gavaskar (C) and Mark Nicholas (R) during commentary(@140of113/X)

Pollock and Gavaskar highlighted how the grass used to stop the cracks on the pitch from widening too early due to the bright sunshine, has resulted in the variable bounce. Pollock said the cracks with the grass are on a short of a good length area and if the ball pitches there the bounce is likely to be unpredictable.

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“It’s between the five and a half and seven metres where you see the cracks with grass in them. If the ball lands there it can either pop up or go down. We saw the first variant more on Day 1. If you get one that misbehaves from length then you can’t really do much about it. It’s really difficult,” he said on Star Sports.

Legendary India cricketer, Gavaskar believed the cracks were around the 8-metre length, which shouldn’t be much of a concern for the batters at the Test level. If the cracks were at a fuller length then it would not have allowed the batters time to adjust but if they can’t handle the up-and-down nature of the pitch from an 8-metre length, they don’t deserve to play at this level, Gavaskar said.

“This is somewhere you would say eight metres,” Gavaskar said pointing towards the problematic area. “If the ball stays up and down from here, the batter should be able to negotiate it, there shouldn’t be a problem. If it was fuller, it would have been very difficult for the batters to make last-minute changes. If batters cannot cope with any variable bounce from here (the 8-metre length), they shouldn’t be playing Test cricket.”

Pollock sees an early end to 2nd Test

Pollock, the legendary Proteas all-rounder, went on to predict an end of the Test match on Day 2 itself.

“Unfortunately, it’s the end of the Test match today for me. I believe it will end today. It’s all about what South Africa can grind out. Can they give themselves a lead of 150 and then believe? But I can’t see this changing much. Yes, the heavy roller will have its effect but as it soon at wears off, it will be difficult,” he said.

Pollock and Gavaskar’s concerns were proven true when India got four South African wickets in 45 minutes of play on Thursday. All four wickets were picked up by Jasprit Bumrah as he completed his 9th five-wicket haul.

23 wickets fell on Day 1. South Africa were all out 55 after opting to bat. In reply, India were bowled out for 153. But the lead of 98 runs could prove to be the decisive factor.

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