Rabada defends SA pitches: Test runs aren't supposed to be easy

2019-01-05 21:04
Kagiso Rabada (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada has defended the state of South African Test wickets following Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur's criticism.

Arthur came hard at the Newlands wicket at the end of play on Friday while he also voiced his disapproval at the surface for the Boxing Day Test at Centurion. 

He went on to say that the quality of pitches in the country had deteriorated since he was coach of the national side in 2010 and that the strip in Cape Town was not up to Test standard. 

Arthur's concerns centre around inconsistent bounce on days one and two of a Test, thus not providing an even contest between bat and ball. 

Batsmen at Newlands, though, have thrived. 

Faf du Plessis scored a century in South Africa's first innings while there were three other Proteas half-centuries and, on day three on Saturday, Pakistan gave easily their best batting performance of the series with Asad Shafiq (88), Babar Azam (72) and Shan Masood (61) all helping the visitors to an impressive 294 all out.  

Speaking after the day's play, Rabada told media that if batsmen stuck it out on South African wickets, there were runs to be had.

"I think the pitches have done quite a bit, but I also feel that when a batsman has applied himself, he has scored runs," he said, before listing the Proteas' most recent home series as examples.

"Right from India, through to Australia and now against Pakistan. It shows that when you're prepared to fight in the middle you will get runs.

"Faf got a hundred, there were two 70s with Aiden (Markram) and Temba (Bavuma) and a 50 from Quinton (De Kock).

"Even at Centurion Imam-ul-Haq batted well and Shan Masood batted well and he batted well again today.

"There have been runs and it shouldn't be too easy to score runs in Test cricket.

"It shows that if you knuckle down, you can score runs. I don't feel the wickets have been too bad."

South Africa need just 41 runs to win the second Test - and the series - at Newlands on Sunday, and when they do they will have made it seven home series wins in a row. 

"At home we want to be unbeaten," Rabada said.

"It's something that we want to take forward but, ultimately, our goal is to the No 1 team in the world.

"We want to make this a fortress and so far, so good. We want to also win overseas. It's what the past players have done and it's important to us too."

Play on Sunday starts at 10:30 and entry into the stadium is free.

Read more on:    proteas  |  kagiso rabada  |  cape town  |  cricket


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