The India-SA clash that stood the test of time at the Wanderers

27 January 2018 - 18:09 By Liam Del Carme at the Wanderers
Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla of South Africa hydrating during day 4 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and India at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla of South Africa hydrating during day 4 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and India at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

For a match that has had to come to grips with abandonment issues, this may yet prove to be a clash that stood the test of time.

There is no sadder sight for a pitch with more cracks than an Ingrams camphor cream ad, than have players and umpires head for the hills as your ghastly imperfections are hastily hidden under the covers. Besides, you can duvet the divots for only so long.

SuperSport's commentators, as if a CSI crack squad tiptoed yesterday morning, careful not to further contaminate the crime scene.

To be fair, it is a pitch that used to have a feisty reputation but it has been more benign in recent times. Over the years, or to be more exact since South Africa's test readmission in 1992, it yielded 302 runs on average to the team batting first. India of course, could only muster 187 in their first stint, while South Africa seemingly didn't fare much better in mastering the seam.

When the paying public arrived on Corlett Drive on Saturday morning they had no guarantee that they'd see any action following the deeply unsatisfactory conclusion to the third day's action.

Dean Elgar had copped one on the forehead, albeit with a technique and not the surface inviting closer scrutiny, thus increasing the likelihood that this match much like the Zuma presidency, may not go the distance.

Either way the pitch had hitherto made for a clash that demanded of batsmen technical proficiency, an exceptionally high pain threshold, and being unwaveringly partial to surprises.

Thankfully Elgar and Hashim Amla had few surprises in the morning session as this test avoided going down in infamy. Denying the Bullring the right to stage international matches was a prospect way too ghastly to contemplate.


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