Seeing the way Wanderers pitch has behaved during the course of the first two day’s play in Johannesburg, former Test captain Sunil Gavaskar and Shaun Pollock have expressed their sympathy for the batsmen and also deemed the 22-yard as poor.
While India got bowled out for 187 in the first innings on Day 1, the home team folded for 194 on the second day. Pollock and Gavaskar are currently covering this high-voltage Test series as commentators. No wonder, they have seen the batters struggling from the close quarters.
“If you’ve got deliveries behaving like this on day two of a Test match it can’t be judged a good surface,” Pollock said while examining the pitch for SuperSport television during the tea break on Day 2.
“If you’ve got deliveries behaving like this on day two of a Test match it can’t be judged a good surface,” he added.
Shaun further went on to compare the Wanderers strip to the one South Africa received in Nagpur in their 2015 India tour. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had rated the Nagpur pitch as “poor” back then.
“You go to India and get a surface like Nagpur where it turned too much. This can’t be judged a good surface because as a batsman you are never in,” Pollock remarked.
Endorsing the former Proteas fast bowler’s viewpoint, Gavaskar said an ideal pitch should give both batsmen and bowlers a fair chance.
“You can get a very flat surface which is totally in favour of batsmen. This is a pitch which is totally in favour of bowlers,” Gavaskar opined.
India speedster Jasprit Bumrah claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket on Day 2 while Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped three wickets. The world No. 1 Test team finished the second day on 49-1, having secured a vital lead of 42 runs.