India vice-captain Ajinjya Rahane said that the Wanderers pitch was challenging, but wasn’t dangerous as many experts deemed it to be through the third Test.

“We didn’t ask them to prepare this wicket. They prepared it,” fumed Rahane as he addressed the press after play was called off on Day 3 following an incident that saw South Africa batsman Dean Elgar getting hit on the helmet by a Jasprit Bumrah delivery.

The decision followed several such incidents of players receiving blows to the body due to uneven bounce on a green track in Johannesburg.

Elgar, who was visibly shaken up after the incident was seen nursing his forehead with an ice bag, even as the umpires took the two captains into the match referees office for a formal discussion over the fate of the match in lieu of the “dangerous” pitch.

According to Rahane, the team was of the opinion that the conditions were the same for both sides and that the team wanted to get on with the game.

“The wicket was similar for both teams. It was completely same for everyone. Our approach is that we want to play and we want to win this Test match,” Rahane said.

“We want to play on this. Rest is with umpires and match referee,” he added.


Rahane was asked if it wasn’t dangerous to subject the opposition batsmen to an uncertain time in the middle with the ball misbehaving.

“What about them bowling short balls to our bowlers,” Rahane shot back. “When Ishant, Bhuvi, Bumrah were batting, everyone was bowling bouncers. I don’t think it is a dangerous wicket,” he added.

Rahane further said: “The new ball is challenging but you cannot call it dangerous, When Amla got 60, no one talked about pitch. Everybody talked about how he played. I hope Elgar is fine, but I don’t think pitch is too dangerous.”

Several TV pundits including Sunil Gavaskar felt that the ball that hit Elgar was pitched short and jumped up because of the length and not because of the demons in the wicket.

The procedure is that umpires can call off play when they consider conditions to be dangerous. The umpires and match referee then consult the captains.

Play can resume if the captains agree. If not, the umpires and match referee have to decide whether it is possible to effect repairs to the pitch so that play can resume.

If not the match can be abandoned.

“I don’t know what the ICC is going to do, but as a team our focus is to get on with the game,” Rahane said.

A decision on whether or not the game will continue is expected before the start of play on Day 4.