23 wickets in one day at Newlands leaves Proteas batting coach perplexed
The match has progressed so far it could be all over on day two in Cape Town on Thursday.
Scoreboard of the Proteas first innings at Newlands. Picture: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images
South Africa batting consultant Ashwell Prince chose his words carefully late on Wednesday when quizzed about the state of the Newlands pitch following a day when 23 wickets fell in the second Test against India in Cape Town.
South Africa were bowled out for a shocking 55 in their first innings in the first session on Wednesday, following by India, who were dismissed for 153; their final six wickets falling in 11 balls for the addition of no runs.
In their second time at the crease, South Africa lost three wickets, to be 62/3 after the first day’s play. The match looks set to end on Thursday, after just two days’ of action.
‘That’s what you get’
Prince, who grew up playing at Newlands for Western Province and having also coached their as well, said he’s never seen a pitch do as much as the Newlands pitch did on Wednesday.
“Credit to the Indian bowlers. (Mohammed) Siraj probably bowled one of the spells of his life (by taking 6/15 in nine overs), and when you have that with two quality bowlers (with Jasprit Bumrah), and add it all together that’s what you get,” said Prince.
“I played a lot of cricket here, I coached here, and I’ve never seen the pitch play that quickly on day one. It usually speeds up on day two.
“The thing is batters don’t mind pace, but it was a little inconsistent in the bounce (on Wednesday).
“Some of the things I saw today I have never seen at Newlands before … there were pitched up balls and the keepers were taking them above their heads.”
When pushed to say more, Prince added: “You’ve got to ask yourself, how do you rate the pitch?
“One team can be bowled out (cheaply); it can happen when you give a quality bowling lineup favourable conditions. They can do serious damage. So to sum up … if both lineups can’t bat on the surface it says a lot.”
Going into the second day of the final Test of the series on Thursday, South Africa have only seven wickets left in their second innings and still trail India by 36 runs.