South Africa-India Test to resume despite pitch concerns

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Getty Images

"Of course both the captains will come forward with their views but the final decision lies with the umpires", he added.

They only lost Parthiv Patel, who for tactical reasons was shifted up from six in the batting order to open, with Vernon Philander getting his wicket.

Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who top-scored for his team with 48, said conditions were challenging but not unsafe.

Rabada also produced a yorker to remove Murali Vijay (25) with the last ball before lunch, and then took a brilliant one-handed catch off his own bowling to remove Hardik Pandya (4). Initially, they went through a tough passage with a lot of plays and misses.

Shami was the only bowler to take a wicket. Their combined intransigence lasted just about 90 minutes on Friday morning but it bore the character of a determined boxer who would be bleeding but would still stay on in the ring, take the blows but won't give up.

The rights and wrongs of taking the players off for risky conditions are complex in a sport where batsmen are regularly hit in the hands, upper arms, ribs, and even helmet by the ball.

Rahane said the umpire never asked them if they wanted to stop playing. When me and Virat were batting and me and Bhuvi, it was completely their (umpires) decision.

"We want a good contest between bat and ball, and this pitch is not providing that". We told them our message is completely clear.

The India vice-captain said this sort of wicket was expected.

Aggressive he was. Not backing out of cover drives and slapping Morne Morkel through extra cover was his way of pointing out how India may have bungled big time by omitting him from the first two Tests. Because when we played in India, we prepared turners, so we knew that we'll get wickets like this when we come here. We asked for a similar wicket in Centurion and it was more like Mumbai than anywhere else and it was a great Test match as well.

He refrained from commenting on whether South Africa within their rights to dramatise the situation. But batting against the new ball is challenging.

"You can not call it a risky wicket just because Elgar got hit".

However, both India and South Africa expressed a desire to see out the rest of the match, with India batsman Ajinkya Rahane denying the pitch was risky and stating conditions were the same for both sides.

The Proteas speedster had played a hugely impressive innings of 30 as a night-watchman in the first innings, but he could not repeat those heroics. But obviously Dean got hit in the face when he wasn't able to take evasive action. India didn't want to risk giving a suggestion that this pitch was unsafe; they were desperate to win, they didn't mind a bruised rib or finger, and probably didn't imagine or think of worse. "I don't think it is a risky wicket, yes, it is a challenging wicket", he observed. And there were balls that were taking off from a length, and our captain was saying that, 'I'm not sure that this is fair either.' So it's not like we are sour grapes or anything.

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