Boycott lambasts ‘too kind’ SA

2014-01-04 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africa were “too kind” to India in the recent Test series by preparing pitches that were strangely out of character.

So says outspoken critic and former England batsman Geoff Boycott, adding, “I would have strangled the groundsmen [Chris Scott at the Wanderers and Wilson Ngobese at Kingsmead] if I were captain of South Africa.”

Boycott, who is very familiar with SA’s cricketing landscape, said in his regular slot on on Thursday that the Proteas, who clinched the series 1-0 on the final day of the second Test in Durban, “should have beaten India 2-0” and was perplexed by the surfaces offered.

“The thing is, these were dry, flat pitches — I’ve not seen them like that for years in South Africa. Usually there’s always a bit of pace and a bit of grass.”

Boycott’s views may only sharpen a suspicion among local observers that the whole, initially controversy-marred tour seemed tailor-made to satisfy Indian needs rather than those of the No 1-ranked Proteas.

Graeme Smith’s side nevertheless overcame the inconvenience of relatively benign pitches, with pace pair Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander grabbing 10 wickets each over the course of the duo of often high-scoring Tests.

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