Former South African captain Graeme Smith has bashed the Centurion groundsman for preparing a pitch that does not support pace bowling. Smith feels that for Indian bowlers to only bowl 31 overs on a Day 1 is nothing short of a joke. He also says that the groundsmen have got a lot of answering to do. Graeme Smith’s post read:
A spinner bowling 31 overs on day 1 in South Africa is a joke in my opinion, groundsmen needs to be asked a lot of questions! #SAvsIndia
— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) January 13, 2018
South Africa is country that traditionally helps fast bowlers and the workload on spinners is expected to be minimal, but that does not seem to be the case at Centurion where the pitch is helping Ravichandran Ashwin, who is more experienced than his South African counterpart Keshav Maharaj. Keshav Maharaj has got a wicket, but he has not looked as threatening as Ravichandran Ashwin who picked up four wickets in the first innings.
Recently, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) received an official warning after the pitch for the fourth Ashes Test was rated ‘poor’ by the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this month. The track drew criticism because only 24 wickets fell in a span of five days.
Hence, we can understand Smith’s frustration who has grown up playing on bouncy tracks of South Africa which assist pace. However, Twitter seems divided on Smith’s comment.
Here are the pick of the tweets.
Quite clearly the groundsman got it horribly wrong. Pitch needed to be covered for longer and heavily watered given the heat on the Highveld in the build up to the Test. If India could have tailor-made a pitch in SA, Centurion would be it.
— Grant Robbins (@GeeMan_97) January 14, 2018
It happens every time India tours South Africa- what happens behind the scenes ? Last Indian tour was the same in Durban – is there money involved ? #whathappentoquickpitch@sspark
— bennie vd westhuizen (@bennie2706) January 14, 2018
On a turning track, quality spin can put India under pressure. 2014 Adelaide India almost pulled off a chase involving 350+ score in 4th innings. When pacers including the likes of in form Johnson failed, Lyon picked 7W n gave Australia the victory
— Incognito (@Incognitoman321) January 14, 2018
This is way too funny. It seems Everytime Ashwin performs there is talk about the state of the pitch. And when he doesn’t perform there is not an iota of a discussion about he pitch. This world is such a funny place sometimes
— Clint Stevens (@clintstevens123) January 14, 2018
— Makan, Prashant (@Prashymak18) January 13, 2018
He is simply stating that a spin bowler bowled 30+ overs on day 1 in South Africa. Not blaming wickets that have fallen.
— Hanno Pretorius (@hannopretorius) January 13, 2018
If SA didn’t have that bad period of 10 minutes, SA would be in a really really good position, and no one would blame the groundsman whatsoever.
— Makan, Prashant (@Prashymak18) January 13, 2018
Why blame the groundsman alone? It seems like even the teams are incapable of reading the pitch. Both teams playing 4 pacers. It’s suggests it’s not an exact science
— Sharan Turlapati (@S_Turlapati) January 13, 2018
Aside from the pitch, there were some very soft, very stupid dismissals today!
— Janet Worthington (@bokkerule) January 13, 2018
but Ashwin has managed to snatch the attention towards him with his performance… isn’t it? #SAvIND
— Atindra Chatterjee (@atispeak) January 13, 2018
We Should call Zaheer Khan i guess, if u wanna see what our pacers can do,you were his bunny !! #SAvIND
— Narendra Patil (@iam_LFCFan) January 13, 2018
We’d still be doing fine if weed didn’t hand them two run outs ? What’s the hurry
— Vincent Lane (@HMucant) January 14, 2018
Centurion usually has pace and bounce, Wanderers as well. Newlands swinging conditions, Kingsmead more batting friendly and PE taking turn. When we get to India we have to scratch around on their dust bowls so just right that they encounter the opposite in SA
— Couch Critic (@HDCouchCritic) January 13, 2018
So as per you test match pitches must only have bounce and slowly builds pace??
Whats wrong if there is experimentation?
Same thing happened at chinnaswamy , bengaluru tooo.
— Vivek E A (@Vivekea1) January 13, 2018
Whats the fun when you have Nagpur type pitches in Centurion. Centurion should be like Centurion. Thats why they call this a test match, to test you in all conditions. #SAvIND
— RK (@rocktheworld62) January 13, 2018
___ but you’re the best offie Zim have produced in decades so means a lot coming from you __
— Robin John Peterson (@robbie13flair) January 14, 2018
— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) January 13, 2018
Playing to our strengths eventually ____
— Robin John Peterson (@robbie13flair) January 13, 2018
At stumps on Day 2, India was at 183 for 5 after dismissing South Africa for 335 runs. India currently trails by 152 runs with 8 wickets in hand. Virat Kohli is unbeaten on 85 and would be eyeing a century, which would also be the first of the series so far, taking both teams into account.