SA v PAK 2018-19: We expect pitches in South Africa to favour our team, says Ottis Gibson in defense of the home advantage

Earlier, Mickey Arthur had labelled pitches in Centurion and Cape Town as "not good enough for Test cricket"

South Africa leads the three-match Test series, 2-0 | Getty

Ottis Gibson has come out in defence of the swing and seam conducive surfaces prepared for the first two Tests by the hosts against Pakistan after the critical remark made over them from the opposition head coach Mickey Arthur. 

While Arthur had lamented pitches in Centurion and Cape Town were "not good enough for Test cricket", Gibson remarked the comment as "a little bit strange" considering Faf du Plessis scored a hundred on Day 2 when Pakistani bowlers could only manage four wickets. 

"On that day, Faf got an amazing hundred. One of the best I've seen in a long time, and Pakistan only got four wickets. Yes, the wicket was a little uneven, I'm not going to deny that, but Faf showed that you can still bat on it. Aiden [Markram] showed that you can still bat on it," Gibson said at the end of the Test match. 

"Shan Masood showed that you can still bat on it and get runs. So I don't think it was the worst pitch you've ever seen. We were in Sri Lanka not long ago, and I can tell you that they were a lot worse, in my opinion. I don't prepare the pitch, but we expect home pitches to favour our team."

Echoing Gibson's sentiments even captain Du Plessis expressed, "Any groundsman, you can ask them, our question to them is always 'has the pitch got pace and bounce?' And that's all we're looking for."

"We never ever ask for ridiculous pitches. We just ask for pitches with a bit of pace and bounce. So when there is a bit of seam movement and a bit of pace and bounce, you have to adapt to that."

"Temba [Bavuma] is a great example. He's scored two Test matches in a row now on tough pitches, he's scored runs. He shows that it's possible if you apply yourself mentally, and you've got a good technique, there is a way," he added. 

Having taken a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three-match series, Proteas are now looking to whitewash Pakistan for the second time in a row at home. 

The third Test at Johannesburg begins on Friday, January 11. 

(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo) 


By Kashish Chadha - 09 Jan, 2019

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