Indians left fuming as officials adopt double standards

Indians left fuming as officials adopt double standards

Indians left fuming as officials adopt double standards

India were left furious after the third day's play of the final Test was called off 19 minutes before scheduled close as the pitch was deemed unfit to continue playing.

Indian team manager Sunil Subramaniam was visibly annoyed and almost indicated South Africa were running away from the challenge. "We had not asked for this wicket. This is South Africa's wicket. We've come and played here. There is nothing for us to be upset about," he said answering a question after the day's play.

Late in the day, after consultation between the match referee and respective team managers, it was decided to resume play on Saturday on time.

Vijay got hit on various parts of his body more times than the number of runs Hardik Pandya (4) scored and there were instances of all other Indian batsmen getting struck at least once that forced the on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould to repeatedly inspect the pitch and gauge if it was fit to continue playing.

The part of the pitch towards the Media End was particularly dangerous for the batsmen as about six metres from the base of the stump there was no certainty of the bounce. The commentators observed that the bounce was awkward, very difficult and almost impossible to play on.

But apart from asking the well-being of the Indian players, the umpires never asked the Indians if they want to stop playing. It's a different matter their answer would have been a big yes. Subramaniam confirmed that during tea time the match referee Andy Pycroft called both the team managers and informed them that "if the two on-field umpires felt it was unfair at any stage, they would consult with the match referee and with the captains as well either way."

India batted for 15.1 overs in the final session and during that time the South African bowlers came around the wicket and hurled bouncers at the Indian tail that could have been dangerous to them but at no stage did the umpires think of stopping the play. However, when Dean Elgar got hit on his protected head by Jasprit Bumrah off a short ball, which according to host broadcasters was pitched 8.5 meters away from the base of stumps and which is a normal short-pitched delivery, the men in white stepped in to stop the play. Naturally, it left the Indians incensed.

"The wicket was definitely challenging, but if you see our openers batted so well," said Ajinkya Rahane, who made an attractive 48. "The wicket was similar for both teams. Vijay got 25 runs, and he faced 130-140 balls. It was completely the same for everyone. Our approach was that we want to play and win this Test match.

"Yes, the odd ball we got hit on the hand or the glove, but that's the nature of the wicket, we cannot control that," he offered.