Proteas and India want to continue with the Wanderers test match

26 January 2018 - 19:42 By Mahlatse Mphahlele‚ At Wanderers
South African batsman Dean Elgar is hit by a ball delivery bounce during the third day of the third test match between South Africa and India at Wanderers cricket ground on January 26, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
South African batsman Dean Elgar is hit by a ball delivery bounce during the third day of the third test match between South Africa and India at Wanderers cricket ground on January 26, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

A decision on whether the third and final Test between South Africa and India at Wanderers should continue is expected on Friday evening or Saturday morning but the two teams want to play.

Stumps were called early in the third session of the third day on Friday following a meeting between umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar, captains Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli and match referee Andy Pycroft  after an incident where Dean Elgar was hit by the ball on the helmet.

When play was stopped, South Africa were on 17/1 and still needing 224 runs to win after they were set a mammoth target of 241 by India, who battled gallantly for most of the day until they were bowled out for 247.

South African head coach Ottis Gibson and team manager Mohammed Moosajee said they want to finish the match but they respect the fact that the decision rest with the match officials.

“There are four umpires and a referee who are here to make decisions around the safety of the players which is something that in my opinion is paramount.

"Ultimately we are here to play cricket and we still want to play Test cricket but we don’t know what the decision is going to be.

"If they come here tomorrow (Saturday) and they say its game on, we will go on and play,” said Gibson at stumps.

“From our point of view, the decision lies squarely in the hands of the match officials whether is safe or not.

"Everybody wants to see Test cricket, the match is interestingly poised at the moment with two of the best teams playing.

"The issue becomes what is unfit and unsafe. We definitely want to play if the conditions are safe but that is the match officials’ decision.

"The match referee hasn’t come back to us officially but they told us to wait around and they will let us know in the evening,” added Moosajee.

“During tea time, the two managers were called into the match referees room, where a discussion was held on the condition of the pitch.

"At the time the decision was that if the match officials feel it is unfair at any stage they will consult with the match referee and captains and make a decision. When the teams came off that is exactly what happened,” he added.

India batsman Anjinkya Rahane admitted that the much talked about Wanderers wicket is challenging but not dangerous and they want to finish the match.

“When you are batting with the new ball it is challenging but you cannot call it a dangerous wicket.

"When Hashim Amla got 60 odd in the first innings, no one talked about the pitch but they way he played his innings.

"Unfortunately Dean Elgar got hit on the head and I hope he is fine but I don’t think the wicket is too dangerous,” said Rahane.

“I don’t know what decision the match officials and ICC are going to take but you can’t call it a dangerous wicket because Elgar got hit and most of the batsmen got hit and we never complained.

"They prepared this wicket, we never told them to prepare a track like this and we want to play,” Rahane concluded.


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