It’s just not cricket in Nagpur

There were numerous suggestions on social media that claimed that the third Test between India and South Africa was just not cricket.

A dodgy pitch in Nagpur has reduced a game that is meant to be a spectacle of bat and ball into a fight for survival as the Proteas look to pull off an unlikely victory.

Heck, even a draw at this stage would be ideal but with three days to go there is every indication that the Proteas will succumb to their first away series loss since 2006 given that they resumed this morning in a precarious position at  32/2 in pursuit of 310.

“Nothing is impossible. Everything depends on Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers. Those two guys have played some sensational innings all over the world in the past and it’s a long shot,” former captain Kepler Wessels said of the current situation yesterday

“It will be very difficult and if South Africa win it will be a phenomenal effort but you can’t give it up just yet,” he added.

Wessels was in India for the first part of the Test series performing duties in the commentary box and had first-hand experience of the strips offered up in the first two games of the series.

“When you go to India that’s what you expect,” he said of the way the pitch is playing in Nagpur at the moment.

“The pitch in Mohali turned, there’s no doubt about that, the one in Bangalore did nothing and this one is turning excessively,” he said. To give you an idea of the havoc this strip has caused, the match has provided an average of a wicket every 32 deliveries.

“I think what all of us are after is a fair contest between bat and ball and then generally the best side wins. That’s the ideal scenario but when you’re touring overseas you expect these things,” he said, commenting on the outcry from fans who have felt that India have taken the idea of home advantage too far.

The Proteas batting effort has been far from exemplary, at least not what you’d expect from the world’s best side,  in this portion of the tour and Wessels was of the opinion that fatigue could play a role

“What happens is that it’s a long tour in India. The back-end, when you face these situations a lot of things come into it. Fatigue comes into it and it wears you down. It does play on your mind.”

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