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South Africa vs India 2018: India unhappy with practice pitches at Johannesburg

638   //    22 Jan 2018, 15:46 IST

Batting coach Sanjay Bangar seemed unhappy with the uneven practice pitches

What's the story?

The Indian coaching staff in South Africa have asked for a rolling over of the practice pitches again after appearing unhappy with their appearance. Head coach Ravi Shastri, after being informed by his batting assistant Sanjay Bangar, ordered for the same to the Wanderers curator Butuel Buthelezi as India engaged in rigorous practice ahead of the third Test against South Africa.

In case you didn't know..

Bangar noticed the pitches when he took bowlers Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for a batting session after which they bowled to the Indian batsmen. That is when he expressed his unhappiness at the wickets to Shastri, who then asked the curator to roll them over again.

After the Centurion Test, which South Africa went on to win by 135 runs, captain Faf du Plessis had made public his disappointment with the pitch, which was surprisingly slow and had variable bounce, something similar to Indian tracks and contrary to expectations of being a fast and bouncy surface.

The heart of the matter

Buthelezi then spoke to Shastri, who in turn consulted Bangar as to what he wanted to be done on the practice wickets, to which the latter said that all three of them should be rolled over one after the other as practice continued on the other wickets.

What's next?

The third and final Test of the series begins at the Wanderers on January 24 with the visitors already 0-2 down after defeats at Cape Town and Centurion. Following the dismal nature of the pitch at Centurion, du Plessis has assured that the Wanderers would live up to its expectations of a quick surface.

Author's Take

India's ask for levelled practice pitches is justified with uneven pitches not providing ideal training ahead of any game. And with pride on the line – they arrived in South Africa as the number one Test side – the visitors are putting in their best to avoid a whitewash.

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A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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