What happened to the Wanderers wicket?

2017-01-24 16:33
Farhaan Behardien (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas Test captain Faf du Plessis did not hide the fact that he had a major say in the preparation of the pitches that greeted his side in their 3-0 series win over Sri Lanka. 

They were green, fast and aided the quicks ... and Du Plessis had a lot to do with that.

Captains requesting certain characteristics in a wicket from a groundsman is nothing new in Test cricket. 

Pitches in the sub-continent are suited to spin bowling - sometimes dramatically so - while the wickets in England and South Africa are generally prepared to aid those countries' seam and swing bowlers. 

Even Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, during the Test series, had no issues with the fact that the South African wickets were bouncy and green and very difficult for his youthful batting line-up to thrive on. 

What, then, happened at the Wanderers on Sunday in the second T20I against Sri Lanka?  

A wicket that is usually a run-machine in limited overs cricket was slow and took turn. More significantly, the Proteas and captain Farhaan Behardien were shocked by how it played. 

The wicket suited the Sri Lankan bowlers and they were able to strangle the South African batsmen. 

As a result, the islanders were given their first taste of victory on this tour. 

Does that relationship between groundsman and captain exist in T20 cricket? 

"100% (it does)," was Behardien's response when asked by Sport24 in Cape Town on the eve of the third and deciding T20I on Wednesday.

"I have no idea what happened at the Bull Ring.

"I think it’s evident to see for anyone that watches cricket ... it wasn’t a traditional Wanderers wicket.

"We haven’t gotten to the bottom of that quite yet.

"We go to Sri Lanka and we face certain challenges regarding pitches and slowness and turn, and when they come to us they should encounter fast-paced, bouncy wickets. Hopefully that will be the case tomorrow night."

Behardien has had a look at the Newlands wicket and he is hopeful that it will suit his side better.

"It’s a bit greener than the Wanderers," he said.

"The pitch is looking good at Newlands … a bit of sun today. Once the sun gets on that wicket it’s going to definitely offer some pace and bounce."

Read more on:    proteas  |  farhaan behardien  |  cape town  |  cricket

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