Harsha Bhogle has said that he is impressed by the Team India’s smart and brave batting effort in the second innings of the third Test at the Wanderers. The Indian batsmen were repeatedly questioned by the umpires about the pitch condition to call off the match but the visitors refused every time.
The pitch was already under heavy scrutiny as the commentators and the cricketing experts, for the past two days, criticized the bounce on the wicket as the ball bounced higher than usual from good length spots. But this pitch took a more devilish turn on Day 3 of the Test match. It was the second ball of the fourth over of the day when Vernon Philander pitched a full-length delivery which took the piece of the pitch along with it.
This was followed by Kohli being hit on the right hand, on the second ball of the 31st over of the Indian innings, when a Rabada good length delivery jumped off the surface. Vijay, too, was hit as many five times on the gloves in his stint at the crease.
"2 out of 100", and was even more vociferous when speaking to journalists. 'It's a s**t pitch,'. You can interpret that. They should have called it off when (Murali) Vijay got hit. This is not a cricket pitch, this is dangerous. 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 in 1998, and it didn't even last this long," said Michael Holding.
Holding's fellow commentator, Kepler Wessels also added, "The unfortunate thing is that nobody minds movement off the surface but it's the uneven bounce that's the problem. It is quite dangerous from a batting point of view when you have pace attacks bowling around the 140 mark, tall bowlers hitting the deck hard. It is dangerous and it's not ideal. I have seen pitches like this around the world but as we keep saying, you want a good contest between bat and ball and this one is not providing that. I'd give it a 3 out of 10."
However, it was Harsha Bhogle who came up with the most interesting analysis as he praised the Indians for refusing to call off the match as they wanted to prove their credentials on a
“Very impressed by the attitude of the Indian team in playing on. Not just brave but smart too. Realise they have the runs on the board. Up to SA to take a call now. Unless the umpires have had enough,” Bhogle said.