Friday, 27 January, 2023

Elgar slams ‘unsafe’ Gabba pitch after first Test loss

Elgar slams ‘unsafe’ Gabba pitch after first Test loss
Australia’s Pat Cummins (left) celebrates after taking the wicket of South Africa’s Dean Elgar during day two of the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday. —AFP PHOTO

South African captain Dean Elgar criticised an "unsafe" Gabba wicket after his side lost the first Test to Australia inside two days in Brisbane on Sunday.

The Australians recorded a six-wicket win over the Proteas late Sunday after 19 wickets fell on the second day on a green pitch that offered plenty of bounce and movement to both teams' pace attacks.

In all, 34 wickets fell in two days, which led Elgar to ask the umpires whether the surface was safe to play on as Australia was edging towards victory.

"I did ask the umpires how long it goes on for before it is essentially unsafe," he said.

"That's where the umpires' discretion comes in -- it's not up to us players."

With Test cricket struggling for popularity around the world, the South African skipper contended that pitches like the one prepared at the Gabba don't help.

"You've got to ask yourself if that's a good advertisement for this format," Elgar said.

Australian captain Pat Cummins conceded the wicket was difficult but stressed it was the same for both sides.

"It was certainly tricky -- two days probably isn't ideal," he said.

The International Cricket Council could take note of the quality of the Gabba pitch.

On Tuesday, the ICC penalised the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Pakistan for preparing a pitch that offered no assistance to the bowlers.

The pitch was given a demerit point after yielding 1,786 runs across four innings of the first Test between Pakistan and England.