Proteas

Confirmed: Game ON at the Wanderers

Aleem dar, Andy Pycroft and Ian Gould (Gallo)
Aleem dar, Andy Pycroft and Ian Gould (Gallo)

Johannesburg - After an evening of confusion and safety concerns over the wicket at the Wanderers, it has finally been confirmed that the third Test between the Proteas and India will resume at 10:00 on Saturday. 

In the most bizarre scenario Test cricket has seen in recent times, the players were pulled off the field by umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould with 20 minutes remaining on day three. 

The catalyst for that decision was South African opener Dean Elgar being smashed on the grille by a short ball from Jasprit Bumrah late in the day. 

Elgar had been hit a few times during his brief stay at the wicket, but before that India had struggled with the exact same conditions for most of the day. 

The Wanderers wicket has been problematic from the beginning of this Test, but with the cracks widening it has become even more unpredictable as things have progressed. 

The ball was kicking up off a length throughout the day, and while India were batting there had been discussions between the umpires and batsmen suggesting that they were contemplating whether or not it was safe to continue. 

At tea, the umpires and team managers had met to discuss the possibility of stopping play should conditions deteriorate further, and when the Proteas came out to bat against the Indian new ball the decision was eventually taken that play should be suspended. 

That is when the real confusion began with both camps unsure of what decision would be taken for Saturday. 

If the match had been abandoned, it would have been just the second time in the history of Test cricket that a dangerous wicket had brought about such a result. 

But, after both captains met with the umpires and match referee Andy Pycroft following the end of the day's play, the decision was eventually taken for play to continue on Saturday. 

South Africa will resume on 17/1 with Elgar (11*) and Hashim Amla (2*) at the wicket. To win and secure a series whitewash, the Proteas will have to chase down 241, a result that seems unlikely given the nature of what is becoming an increasingly controversial pitch.

 

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