Sunil Gavaskar has been utterly disappointed with the pitch at the Wanderers’ stadium in Johannesburg, saying ‘any pitch which is totally one-sided is not a good pitch.’ Gavaskar said that he was curious to see if the pitch at Wanderers for the third Test would be reported by the match officials.
Not many people would have been surprised when Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara claimed that getting 187 on the board in the first innings was as good as scoring 300 due to the very nature of the pitch at the Wanderers. The cracks were opening up which made the ball zoom upwards and at right angles causing batsmen numerous problems. Hashim Amla was struck twice due to the excessive bounce the pitch offered but managed to continue despite a sharp hit in the ribs off an Ishant Sharma delivery.
Cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar, in his column in TOI slammed South African
“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 said as he inspected the pitch for SuperSport Television.
Gavaskar also added that fortunately, the pitch was not a risk to life and limb as some extremely bouncy pitches are, but still the batsmen had to suffer a few blows due to the awkward bounce from the pitch.
"That is something that is inevitable on a playing surface like this one and the good batsmen are prepared to do that for the boys," he mentioned in his column
"Cheteshwar Pujara was right that the score India got was as good as 300 on a normal pitch and as the match goes on it's not going to get easier. The cracks are opening up and making the ball zoom upwards and at right angles. Like Pujara for India, Hashim Amla batted with calm and took a few blows but he hung in there."
The left-handed opener lauded the Indian bowlers for their performance, singling out Bhuvneshwar Kumar for praise as he grabbed the important wickets of openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram as well as the ever-dangerous AB De Villiers.
"Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed with both bat and ball why it was a mistake to leave him out of the second Test. A swing and seam bowler does not need a helpful surface, for the deception is in the movement of the ball in the air as much as off the pitch," the batting great opined.