India and South Africa happy with pitch for third Test
What's the story?
The pitch for the third Test between South Africa and India is one that both teams are happy with, according to Wanderers curator Butuel Buthelezi. After the controversy about the pitch for the second Test that left the South African players fuming, the curator for the third Test assured that the pitch will have bounce and carry.
"The South Africans are happy with the wicket. It will have pace and bounce and that is how wickets here play. I don't think there are any questions within the team as they looked pleased after the boys took a look at the wicket this morning," Buthelezi told CricketNext.
"Even the Indians liked how the wicket looks as they gave me a thumbs up on Monday afternoon after taking a close look at the wicket. It will play true and both teams will have the same conditions over the next five days," he added.
In case you didn't know...
Despite South Africa's convincing victory in the second Test, not many were happy with the pitch at Centurion. Fast bowler Morne Morkel likened it to a sub-continental wicket while several former players were left bemused by the nature of the wicket.
The heart of the matter
South Africa are yet to beat India in a Test at the Wanderers and the curator added that the pitch for the third Test is something both India and South Africa will be happy with. The nature of the wicket has prompted a few reports of Ravichandran Ashwin being removed in favor of a four-man pace attack.
The curator also informed that India's decision to not use the practice wicket next to the central wicket, unlike South Africa, was a collective one. He also played down any suggestions of discontent amidst the Indian camp with the unevenness of the training wickets on Monday.
India will take on South Africa in the third Test at the Wanderers on Wednesday hoping to avoid a whitewash and looking to maintain their incredible record of never having lost a Test at the venue to South Africa.
There was plenty of talk about the nature of the Centurion wicket and it is good to see that the pitch for the third Test will have pace and bounce. The idea of playing overseas Tests is for batsmen to test themselves in different conditions and having already floundered against the Proteas pace attack, India will be looking to improve in the final Test.