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Gabba pitch not good for Test cricket – Dean Elgar

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Cricket News: Gabba pitch not good for Test cricket – Dean Elgar | Will the Gabba pitch receive a poor or below average rating?

South African skipper Dean Elgar has questioned the dangerous nature of the pitch in Gabba as the opening Test bteween the Proteas and Australia lasted just two days. The officials did not respond to Elgar’s queries though his counterpart Pat Cummins played down any concerns over the arguably menacing nature of the track on offer.

“I did ask the umpires when KG [Rabada] got [Travis] Head out down leg, I said ‘how long does it go on for until it potentially is unsafe? And then [Anrich] Nortje was bowling those short ones that were flying over our heads,” the 35-year-old was quoted in a report by ESPNcricinfo.  

He added, “I know the game is dead and buried, it was never to try and change or put a halt to the game. That’s where the umpire’s discretion comes into play, not us as players. I am definitely not going to say it was safe or unsafe.”

Gabba pitch under spotlight after two-day Test

South Africa were bowled out for 152 and 99 in their two innings, as they batted for only 76 overs across these couple of essays of play. Australia replied with 218 runs in their first innings and chased down 35 in the fourth at the loss of four wickets in what was a struggle.

There was certainly some uneven bounce on the pitch and batsmen from both sides struggled to settle down and get big scores to their name. However, Cummins was dismissive of criticising the surface that produced the second shortest Test match since World War II.

“Sideways movement, there was a little bit of up and down bounce, but it was fine. There were no balls jumping off a length or anything like that,” Cummins mentioned. “It was certainly tricky. Two days probably isn’t ideal…personally, I don’t mind it if the groundsman err on the greener side occasionally, [I’ve] played a lot of Tests where they’ve erred on the flatter side. Think it was the same for both teams,” he further added.

Elgar raised pertinent questions over whether a Test where 34 wickets fell within two days could be a good advertisement for the longest format of the game.

“The nature of it, how it started to play with some seriously steep bounce with the old ball, you are kind of on a hiding to none as a batting unit. I don’t think it was a very good Test wicket, no,” the South African captain quipped.

Regardless, Australia secured an important victory that helped them further their chances of qualifying for the finals of the ongoing cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23. The second Test, which will be a Boxing Day affair, will commence at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on 26 December.

Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jha is a media professional and cricket writer who has managed social media content, public relations (PR) and marketing related content for cricketer Ajinkya Rahane and cricket presenter and stand-up comedian Vikram Sathaye. Also, Tarkesh has been featured in some leading publications such as Sportskeeda, Khel Now, firstpost.com, and cnbctv18.com

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