ICC gives 'unsatisfactory' rating to Newlands pitch for 2nd India-South Africa Test

Rohit Sharma (L) and Dean Elgar.
Rohit Sharma (L) and Dean Elgar.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rated the Newlands pitch "unsatisfactory" for the low-scoring second Test between India and South Africa. It was the shortest Test in history, lasting only 642 balls across less than two days.

The ground received one demerit point. Cricket South Africa (CSA), the home board, will now have to formally explain why the pitch was sub-standard.

Match referee Chris Broad assigned the rating after consultations with captains Rohit Sharma and Dean Elgar and the umpires. The ICC said Broad's report expressed "concerns" of the match officials.

“The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on," Broad said in a statement. "The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it difficult to play shots. Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce.”

The ICC can suspend a ground from hosting international cricket for 12 months if it accumulates six demerit points. Twelve demerit points could be a penalty of two years. CSA now has 14 days to appeal the sanction.

"Don't mind pitches like this as long as everyone keeps mouth shut in India" - Rohit Sharma on ICC ratings

South Africa were bowled out for one of their lowest total in the first innings. India lost six wickets for an unprecedented zero runs in the second innings and the match ended before Tea on Day 2.

In the post-match press conference, Rohit said he didn't mind pitches with pace and bounce until the same tolerance was shown for turning tracks in India.

"I don't mind playing on pitches like this as long as everyone keeps their mouth shut in India and doesn’t complain about Indian pitches. You come here to challenge yourself. And when people come to India it is challenging as well," Rohit said after the match.
"I would love to see the chart match referees prepare while rating pitches. We know in India ball spins from Day 1, you are not okay. When the ball seams from Day 1, you are okay. That's not okay," he added.

India's next Test assignment will be a five-match series against England on home soil from January 25.

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