After registering a historic 63-run victory in the third and final Test match at New Wanderers Stadium Johannesburg, India’s chief coach Ravi Shastri has stated that he was astonished to see the wet pitch in the first session of Day 4.
South Africa were tottering at 17 for 1 in the final session of third day’s play while chasing India’s target of 241 in the fourth innings before the umpires told the players to go off the field considering the uneven bounce on the deck. In fact, things got worsened as a vicious bouncer from India speedster Jasprit Bumrah struck Proteas opener Dean Elgar’s helmet and he immediately called for medical attention.
However, on fourth day morning, Elgar and Amla found it easy to adjust on the pitch and added a 119-run stand for the second wicket. No wonder, Shastri was amazed to see the sudden change in the nature of Wanderers track.
“I was very surprised to see the pitch so wet, although it was under covers, when I saw it on Saturday morning,” Shastri said while speaking to Sportstar.
“I don’t know how that could have happened. Then the South Africans used the heavy roller to bind the surface. It seemed to play better,” he further added.
When asked about the umpires’ decision to call off the play late on day three, India’s head coach opined: “I never had any doubt that the Test would resume. But the momentum was with us when play was stopped with about 20 minutes remaining.”
Talking about the memorable victory in Johannesburg, Shastri said it should be ranked amongst India’s finest overseas wins.
“It’s right up there with the best. Look at the conditions, the wicket, and what we were up against. Many laughed at us when we elected to bat on a green pitch. But we had our reasons. Then the way we fought. We played like the No. 1 team in the world,” concluded Ravi Shastri.
Team India will now take on the Proteas in the limited-overs leg of the tour, comprising of 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is from February 1.