Rohit hits out at detractors of Indian pitches after shortest Test in history

Skipper believes there is inconsistency in the way match referees rate pitches in different countries.

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India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates taking the wicket of South Africa's Keshav Maharaj - Reuters
India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates taking the wicket of South Africa's Keshav Maharaj - Reuters

Published: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 10:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 10:43 PM

There should be a review of how pitches are rated with India receiving undue criticism according to Test captain Rohit Sharma in the wake of his side’s seven-wicket win over hosts South Africa on a seaming surface with variable bounce at Newlands.

India completed the victory on Thursday in the shortest ever test where there has been a positive result as they shared the series 1-1 having set the tone when they bowled the home side out for 55 before lunch on day one.

With variable bounce and sideways movement through the 4-1/2 sessions, Rohit described the conditions as dangerous, but added he had no problem playing on such surfaces as long as it was accepted that Indian pitches will turn from day one.

"I don’t mind being on pitches like this as long as everyone keeps their mouth shut in India and no-one is talking about the pitches there," Rohit told reporters.

"Yes it is dangerous, but you come here (South Africa) to challenge yourself and you must face up to it."

Rohit believes there is inconsistency in the way match referees rate pitches in different countries.

"In India, when it turns on day one, people say ‘Oh, there is a puff of dust’. We need to stay neutral, especially match referees. I would love to see how the pitches are rated.

"I still can’t believe the (Cricket) World Cup final pitch (in Ahmedabad) was rated below standard. A player (Australia’s Travis Head) got a hundred there. They must rate pitches based on what they see, not based on countries."

Rohit added there should be no difference in the rating of a pitch based on spin or seam on day one.

"We know pitches in India will spin but people don’t like it because it turns from ball one. But if it seams from ball one, that is OK? That is not fair."

Rohit believes the nature of the wicket made their Cape Town win even more special.

"When we saw how the pitch played in the first session, we knew it would not be a high scoring game," he said. "All we wanted to do was stay disciplined in how we bowled and not get ahead of ourselves.

"We also spoke to the batters and said we needed small contributions in the game. Apply yourself, if you get hit on the body it’s fine."

Dean Elgar, South Africa's stand-in captain in his last match before retiring from international cricket, admitted the hosts had misread the pitch in deciding to bat first after winning the toss.

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"To the naked eye it looked like quite a nice one but it played totally different from what everyone thought it would play," said Elgar, who was named along with Jasprit Bumrah as players of the series.

"It was a tough one for us. We were pretty positive coming into this game.

"The first innings killed us with the bat. India brought their intensity and used the conditions superbly."

Brief scores

South Africa: 1st innings 55 all out. 2nd Innings 176 all out

India: 1st innings 153 all out. Second innings 80-3

India win by 7 wickets


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