South Africa skipper Dean Elgar was critical of the Gabba pitch after losing the opening Test against Australia inside two days, terming it a “pretty spicy” track that didn’t allow a “fair” contest.
As many as 34 wickets fell in two days as South Africa were bowled out for 152 and 99 with Australia claiming a six-wicket win.
“Still trying to wrap my head around what’s happened. Pretty spicy wicket, bowlers were licking their lips.
Challenging for the batters which is okay, but on the flipside I don’t see this as a fair contest,” Elgar said after the match.
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It was the second-fastest Test ever completed in Australia as only 867 balls were bowled, fetching 15 wickets on the first day and another 19 on the second day.
“You’ve gotta ask yourself it that’s a good advertisement for Test cricket,” Elgar told ‘Foxsports’.
“I did ask the umpires … how long does it go on for until it potentially is unsafe.” It was the first time in 91 years that a Test has finished inside two days in Australia and former players, including Mark Waugh, too criticized the surface.
“I guess you’ve got to question, has this pitch got too much grass on it? I think the groundsmen will have a look at that,” Waugh said on ‘Fox Cricket’.
“We know the Gabba does have grass but, I don’t know, it looks a bit unfair for the batsmen at the moment.” Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting also slammed the wicket which turned out to be a minefield for batters, saying it might get a “poor” rating from the ICC.
“I’ve never seen anything like this at the Gabba. Matthew Hayden has played a lot more cricket here than me and he’s never seen anything like it. And Justin Langer said the same thing,” Ponting said on ‘Channel 7’.
“There was a little bit of moisture on day one – what you expect from The Gabba. What we have seen is excessive seam movement.
“I think it will get a poor rating. To have 22 wickets fall in the first four sessions of a Test match says to me these are very, very good bowling teams, no doubt about that. I don’t think that the batters are that bad.
“Speaking to some of the players this morning, they think it is as difficult surface they have ever played on. A lot of these guys have played a lot of cricket. They have played a lot of cricket. They have played on some pretty tough wickets in different places around the world. So probably pretty justified at the moment,” Ponting added.
Former opener Matthew Hayden, who has played lot of domestic cricket at Gabba, said: “…in my opinion, it started too green.
“And that’s just from someone that has seen this from a very young age, there is no need to make it so full of grass, such heavy grass content. Because it seamed too much.”