India completed a historic win over South Africa in Cape Town beating them by seven wickets on Thursday, January 04 to level the two-match series 1-1. However, along with the historic win, the pitch at Newlands Stadium also made headlines as the match turned out to be the shortest completed Test played in the history of the game getting completed in just 107 overs.
Commenting on the pitch after the game, India captain Rohit Sharma stated that he doesn’t mind playing on such surfaces, however, he called out the hypocrisy of the cricketing fraternity who criticize Indian pitches when the game doesn’t last five days.
“I mean, we saw what happened in this match, how the pitch played and stuff like that. I honestly don’t mind playing on pitches like this. As long as everyone keeps their mouth shut in India and don’t talk too much about Indian pitches, honestly,” Rohit was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The Indian captain further supported his argument by saying that Test cricket is a challenging format and every player is aware of that. Hence, they put themselves to the test in the toughest of conditions all over the world. However, people have different views on a seaming and a spinning pitch.
“Because you come here [in Test cricket] to challenge yourself. Yes, it is dangerous. It is challenging. When you are put up against, a challenge like that, you come and face it. That’s what happens in India, but, in India on Day 1, if the pitch starts turning, people start talking about ‘Puff of dust! Puff of dust!’ There’s so much crack here on the pitch. People are not looking at that,” he added.
The 36-year-old further said that the match-referees also need to be neutral while rating the pitches and expressed his disbelief on the World Cup 2023 final pitch in Ahmedabad being rated ‘average’ by the ICC.
I still can’t believe that the World Cup final pitch was rated average: Rohit Sharma
“You know, some of these match referees need to keep their eye on how they rate pitches. It’s quite important. I still can’t believe that the World Cup final pitch was rated below average [it was rated average]. A batsman got a hundred there in the final. How can that be a poor pitch? So these are the things the ICC, the match referees, they need to look into and start rating pitches based on what they see, not based on the countries. I think that’s quite important,” he further said.
Notably, none of the teams bowled a single over of spin across two days in the second Test, as the seamers accounted for all the 33 wickets to fall during the game. On the second day, Aiden Markram’s century (106 off 103) helped South Africa take a lead of 78 runs in their second innings, setting India a target of 79 runs to win.
The Rohit Sharma-led side chased down the target in just 12 overs with seven wickets to spare, with Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scoring with 28 (23). As a result, India became the first Asian team to win a Test in Cape Town and Rohit Sharma became the second Indian captain to draw a Test series in South Africa after MS Dhoni (2010-11).