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The International Cricket Council (ICC) rated the Cape Town pitch ‘unsatisfactory’ after the second Test between India and South Africa at the Newlands ended in 107 overs. The Test also happened to be the shortest ever in the history of the format, breaking a 92-year-old record set way back in 1932.
The decision was made under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. Only 642 balls could be bowled in the match.
"The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on. The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it difficult to play shots," said Chris Broad, the match referee for the Test, in his report submitted to the ICC.
"Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce," Broad further wrote.
The Newlands cricket ground got in trouble for having a bad pitch and field. They got a warning point, like a strike in bowling. If they get 6 of these warnings in 5 years, they can't host international matches for a year! The captain of the Indian team, Rohit Sharma, wasn't happy about it either.
"We saw what happened in this match, how the pitch played. I don't mind playing on pitches like this. As long as everyone keeps their mouth shut in India and don't talk too much about Indian pitches," Rohit had told reporters in his post-match press meet.
"Because you come to Test cricket to challenge yourself. Yes, it is dangerous. It is challenging. So, and when people come to India, it is again pretty challenging as well.
If the pitch starts turning (in India), people start talking about 'Puff of dust! Puff of dust!' There's so much crack here (Newlands) on the pitch," he added.
Even South African coach Shukri Conrad was critical of the Cape Town track.
"I don't know what people want me to say. You only need to look at the scores. 1.5-day Test match! You need to look at how they chased 80 (79). It's a sad state when you need more luck than skill. All the ethics and values of Test cricket go out the window," Conrad had said.
However, all of it would not take any sheen out of an Indian victory on which pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah came up with splendid spells.
Siraj's six for 15 skittled South Africa for 55 in their first innings, while India managed a 98-run lead on the back of their 153.