Seeing the way Wanderers pitch has behaved during the course of the first three day’s play in Johannesburg, cricket legend Michael Holding has advised the officials to call off the match immediately. Fondly known as “whispering death” for his hostile pace bowling, Holding used the word “S**t” to describe the 22-yard.
The on-field umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar along with the match-referee Andy Pycroft will take the final call on Saturday (January 27). However, the final session of third day’s play was called off after a vicious bouncer from India speedster Jasprit Bumrah struck Proteas opener Dean Elgar’s helmet and he immediately called for medical attention.
“Two out of 100 [is my rating for the pitch]. It’s a s**t pitch. You can interpret that. They should have called it off when Vijay got hit. This is not a cricket pitch, this is dangerous,” Holding said according to ESPNcricinfo.
“Call it off, forget it. You can’t play cricket on that. I have no idea what has gone wrong but I know it’s not a good cricket pitch. The last time I saw something like this, the match was abandoned – in Jamaica 1998, and it didn’t even last this long,” he further added.
Apart from Holding, former India opener Sunil Gavaskar has also criticized the pitch. However, when the two umpires discussed between themselves and then decided to go off the field, Gavaskar was on air and stated that if the Indians would've been in South Africa's shoes, they would've been called ‘sissies’ by the global cricketing community.
The legendary India opener further went on to add that despite producing the likes of Kohli's, Tendulkar's and Dravid's, Indians have the reputation of being soft.
South Africa were tottering at 17 for 1 while chasing the target of 241 in the fourth innings. Aiden Markram was the batsman got out to Mohammed Shami for 4.