SA v Pakistan
Kallis blames the pitch
Eduan Roos - Beeld
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)
Abu Dhabi – Pitches like the ones on which the Test series between South Africa and Pakistan were played will sound the death-knell for Test cricket.
This is the warning that Jacques Kallis, South African vice-captain, had on Wednesday after the second Test between the two teams failed to produce a winner.
The Proteas and Pakistan drew the series 0-0 after the first Test in Dubai also ended undecided.
Like last week, the match was stopped an hour early with Pakistan at 153/3 on a lifeless pitch and with two cautious batsmen at the wicket.
Hope for a Proteas victory came from nowhere, like a Highveld thunderstorm, when Paul Harris (2/28) and Johan Botha (1/40) took three wickets shortly after lunch in only eight deliveries.
But as quickly as it came, it vanished – especially when Misbah-ul-Haq (58*, 140 balls, 10x4) and Azhar Ali (28*, 135 balls, 2x4) decided to drop anchor.
"It is very worrying that Tests can still be played on pitches like these because this version of the game is already struggling for survival and results like these will definitely not help to keep it alive," said Kallis.
"For Test cricket to be healthy once again, every game has to be a fair contest between ball and bat, but this pitch didn't crumble at all and actually became easier to play on."
After 1 289 runs were hit and only 25 wickets fell in Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here saw 1 374 runs but only 27 wickets taken.
As a result, there were only a few hundred spectators to be seen off the field – after packed stadiums in the Twenty20 and one-day series.
"Our bowling wasn't nearly as poor as the scoreboard says, because any team in the world would have struggled to get 10 wickets here," said Kallis.