A cloud of doubt hung over the third India-South Africa Test here after play was called off shortly before the scheduled close on the third day at the Wanderers due to a dangerous playing surface.
India had set South Africa a victory target of 241 and as the hosts began their chase, opener Dean Elgar was hit on the head by a short ball from Jasprit Bumrah. The score was 17/1 at the time.
The umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, in consultation with match referee Andy Pycroft, took the players off the field at that point. During the Indian second innings too, several players had taken blows on their hands and bodies, leading to several discussions between the umpires earlier in the day.
The captains, Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli, were called into a meeting with Pycroft and the umpires as per the International Cricket Council regulations. Late in the night, it was decided that the play will continue on the fourth day, with the officials having the power to take any decision otherwise, during the course of the day.
Indian team manager Sunil Subramaniam said his team wanted the play to continue on Saturday while South African manager Mohammed Moosajee left the decision to the match referee.
"We were told that if the conditions were unfit for play, both captains would be consulted," said Subramaniam. "We held the view that the wicket was doing the same for all three days and today was the day with the least wickets and the strike rate was the highest. We would like play to continue."