Gibson: No pitch excuses, India have been better

2018-01-27 08:02
Ottis Gibson (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Proteas coach Ottis Gibson is not prepared to make any excuses should South Africa lose the third Test against India at the Wanderers. 

There was drama plenty on day three Friday when, with 20 minutes left to play in the day, umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould ordered the players off the field after Dean Elgar had taken a bouncer to the grille from Jasprit Bumrah. 

Elgar had already been hit numerous times in his brief knock of 11*, but before that the Indian batsmen had endured their fair share of body blows too.

In near-impossible batting conditions, India performed with immense courage to set South Africa a target of 241 for victory. 

Throughout their innings it was tough going, with numerous batsmen needing the assistance of the physiotherapist after taking hits to various parts of their body. 

India were understandably upset when play was suspended just 8.3 overs into South Africa's innings. 

But, after discussions between the captains and match referee Andy Pycroft, it was decided that play would continue on Saturday morning. 

With the Proteas 17/1, a home win seems extremely unlikely at this stage and Gibson said after the day's play that there would be no excuses from a South African point of view.

"India over the course of the three days have utilised the conditions better than we did," the coach said.

"They’ve made us play a lot more. We bowled wider than we should have on this pitch. They’ve had the upper hand from the first day and they deserve to be in the position that they are."

Gibson added that nobody in the South African dressing room had anticipated that things would deteriorate this badly.

"I don't think we expected it to behave in the way it did. It started tough on the first day and has gradually got a little bit worse," Gibson said.

"Throughout the whole game on both sides we saw batsmen wearing a few on the body, and we are not complaining.

"I hope you are not sitting here thinking we are complaining.

"But obviously Dean got hit in the face when he wasn’t able to take evasive action and there was one before that that he went forward to that he was going to leave that bounced up and hit him on the hand, but again he wasn’t able to take evasive action."

The West Indian added that this type of strip was not what the Proteas had wanted. 

"Everybody is making a big issue of grass but we’ve never asked for grass, we asked for pace and bounce," he said.

Read more on:    proteas  |  ottis gibson  |  cricket


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