This Test series has left the Proteas in tatters and the South African public in a raging temper . But have India even done anything wrong?
I’m having exactly the same feelings as the rest of South Africa’s cricket fans. Feelings of frustration and anger. Feelings of wanting our boys just to come home for what will be a far more exciting series against England. It’s an infuriating state of affairs – I completely agree. But where I can’t agree, is with the roaring outcries accusing India of cheating. I’ve seen several sports fans commenting about how it’s “not fair” for them to prepare pitches in a certain way; pitches that turn square on Day 1.
What makes India a good (not great) Test side is that they have the best spinners around, and they have more than one. They have a handful of spinners that can put any country in a spin. So why wouldn’t they prepare turning wickets? If they came here and we prepared a “green mamba” and they were ducking and diving, while Hash, Faf and AB were just scoring 50s and 100s, we’d all be laughing at how they can’t handle the heat. So I expect the Indians to be doing the same right now.
My only gripe is that these Tests are only lasting three days. If that got sorted out, I’d have absolutely no issue. So maybe the Indian groundsmen are just preparing the pitches too excessively, that I’ll accept. But are they cheating? No.
The guys in the Supersport studio were saying this should not become a “tit for tat” scenario that ends up with us preparing an excessively green wicket when India next tour SA. I couldn’t disagree more. I often find that South African groundsmen like to prepare a pitch that will be a fair contest. But I’d much prefer to see SA dominate home Tests.
I, for one, am sick and tired of India and the BCCI ruling world cricket and doing whatever they want to. So why shouldn’t we fight fire with fire and unleash Steyn, Morkel and Rabada and a lush green wicket on them when they next tour here?
Bottom line, for me, is that India have prepared wickets to suit themselves and you can’t hate them for that. The Proteas have gone in with a game plan, but not with a back-up plan. We haven’t adapted to the conditions and the situation. India have selected one seam bowler for this third Test, along with four spinners. Their seemer, Ishant Sharma, bowled a total of two overs in our first innings. Yup, TWO. The other 31 overs were made up of spin, and we were bowled out for 79. In their first innings, Morkel and Rabada bowled 33 overs while our spinners bowled 44 overs, with our “number one spinner” Imran Tahir only getting 12 overs.
So knowing the conditions and that their spinners did the job for them – what did we do? We opened with Morne Morkel, and then when he was tired, turned to Kagiso Rabada. It took Amla 25 overs to turn to his specialist spinner. TWENTY FIVE. Immy then took five wickets in 11 overs and India were bowled out. So why not open with him? I see that as a failure to adapt to the situation.
So, as far as I’m concerned, the conditions aren’t great, anything but – but a lot of what’s happening can be blamed squarely on ourselves. This isn’t the first time India have prepared these wickets, and other teams don’t get bowled out for 79.
What do you think, sports fans?