ICC says Nagpur pitch for 3rd India-SA Test rated ‘poor’, begins review

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 01, 2015 17:54 IST
Umpire Bruce Oxenford (R) instructs a member of the groundstaff to sweep dust off the pitch during play on the first day of the third Test cricket match between India and South Africa at The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. (AFP)

The ICC said on Tuesday the pitch used in the third Test match between India and South Africa in Nagpur had been rated as “poor”, triggering a review amid criticism of the spin-friendly surface.

South Africa, the world’s top-ranked Test team, were beaten within three days in Nagpur. They lost all 20 wickets in Nagpur to Indian spinners, with Ravichandran Ashwin claiming 12. Several pundits and former players have slammed the spin-friendly conditions across the country.

“In accordance with Clause 3 of the Process, ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe submitted his report to the ICC expressing the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch. This report has been forwarded to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which now has 14 days to provide its response,” the International Cricket Council said in press statement on Tuesday.

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India's Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha appeal unsuccessfully against South Africa's captain Hashim Amla during the third Test cricket match between India and South Africa at The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. (AFP)

“After the BCCI has submitted its response, ICC’s General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and the ICC’s Chief Match Referee, Ranjan Madugalle, will consider all the evidence, including studying video footage of the match, before reaching their decision on whether or not the pitch was poor and if so, whether a penalty should be imposed,” it said.

The 22-yard wicket at Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium filled the beleaguered South African team with optimism on Tuesday that the fourth and final Test against India will buck the trend and last more than three days.

South Africa kicked off their longest tour of India by winning the Twenty20 and one-day series before the hosts rolled out turning pitches and unleashed their formidable phalanx of skilful spinners to turn the tables in the Test matches.

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Amit Mishra celebrates the wicket of South African batsman Faf du plessis during the Third day of the 3rd test match played in Nagpur. (PTI)

The visitors were naturally eager to have a look at the pitch to be used for the final Test starting on Thursday and assistant coach Adrian Birell was hopeful it would last longer. “We are playing in India so we expect the pitches to turn. This one looks like it will go more than three days,” Birell told reporters after the team’s practice session.

Indian spinner Amit Mishra warned that the Proteas would have to improve their technique against spin to avoid another defeat. “I admit it spun more (in the series). Their technique was inadequate to cope with it. I think, if they improve their technique, they can better deal with spin,” said the 33-year-old.

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With inputs from agencies

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