The third day’s play of the 3rd and final test at Johannesburg ended with a note of controversy with the players being called off the field prematurely after South African opening batsman Dean Elgar was struck by a bouncer bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. The Wanderers pitch offered exaggerated seam movement and extra bounce right from the outset but it soon turned out to be a nightmare for the batsmen as several of them suffered blows to their bodies from balls popping up unexpectedly after hitting the good length.
The controversy regarding the pitch first arose when a delivery from Kagiso Rabada, who was bowling from the Golf Course end rose of the full length to hit Virat Kohli on the glove. On field umpire Ian Gould had a word or two with the Indian skipper as he received treatment from the physio but it was only a brief one. The umpires had to get together once again when Vijay suffered a similar fate a few overs later. The umpires conversed with the two captains and the discussion this time was a lengthier one. Although the conversation aroused speculations that an abandonment might be on the cards, neither Kohli nor Du Plessis expressed any major concern about the pitch being dangerous and play was continued.
The debate arose once again in the afternoon session, when two consecutive deliveries from Rabada leapt up on Ajinkya Rahane, one hitting him on the glove and the next popping up even higher to hit him on the handle. The umpires had a talk with each other once again before asking for play to resume. However, when South Africa began their chase after having India bowled out, Dean Elgar received a couple of blows on his body before being struck on the helmet by a bouncer from Jasprit Bumrah.
The opener was visibly shaken by the blow and the umpires once again consulted the players, this time deciding to call them off the pitch. The match referee could be seen intervening and the captains from both camps were called into the match referee’s room. The Indian skipper was clearly miffed with the umpire’s decision to halt play and was reluctant to leave the field of play. Kohli could be seen storming off the field into the match referee’s room, with a bit of fury, closely followed by Faf Du Plessis who was also called in alongside him.
Watch the video here :
Kohli is not happy! pic.twitter.com/Sx9TdRFdBB
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