The pitch at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg came under the scanner on the third day of the final Test between India and South Africa on Friday as the uneven bounce at times appeared dangerous and even resulted in the ball hitting the Indian batsmen, after which Virat Kohli pointed out a few spots to the on-field umpires.
India began the day at 49/1 and were soon reduced to 57/3 as Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel removed KL Rahul (16) and Cheteshwar Pujara (1) respectively. Shortly after what took everyone's attention was that divots kept coming out of the pitch to the great consternation of Kohli and Murali Vijay.
On one occasion, a ball scooted through the track staying as low as one-third of the stump height, while another couple of times it rose awkwardly to hit Vijay and Kohli.
Vijay was hit in the midriff and Kohli got struck smack on the hand off a good length ball. The India captain even walked up to the umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar showing them the areas that were causing trouble.
West Indies fast-bowling legend Michael Holding, who was doing commentary, also criticised the wicket saying he won't give it more than 2 on a scale of 1 to 100.
Interestingly, former India captain Sourav Ganguly had raised questions on the nature of the Wanderers track during the first day's play itself. "To play Test cricket on this surface is unfair ...saw it in NZ in 2003 ...batsmen have minimum chance ..icc should look into it," he responded to a tweet on his timeline.
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) January 24, 2018
It remains to be seen what the match referee writes in his report to ICC after the Test and if the apex body takes a serious note of it.