Proteas coach Shukri Conrad believes the “ethics and values of Test cricket” went out of the window in the bizarre Newlands Test match, which finished inside two days.
India got the better of the Proteas in Cape Town to level the series at 1-1 and share the spoils after coming out on the right side in what was a very strange and unusual match.
A total of 23 wickets fell on the first day of the match at a cost of just 270 runs, something that is almost unheard of. The match was concluded in the second day when India managed to restrict the Proteas to a lead of less than 100 in the second innings before knocking of the runs.
“I don’t know what people want me to come out and say, whether it was a rubbish wicket or not,” said Conrad.
“You only need to look at the scores, one and a half day Test match. It’s a sad state when you need more luck than skill to survive in a Test match.
“This was just a slug fest and whoever was luckier was going to win but take nothing away from India. But it wasn’t great, both the cricket and the wicket.”
The match was played under a cloud of controversy following the shocking announcement of the severely weakened Proteas team set to travel to New
Zealand next month. The majority of the country’s best red-ball players were not picked to add star power to the domestic SA20 franchise league.
Cricket South Africa received heavy criticism from several quarters, including former Australia captain Steve Waugh who insisted CSA showed “a lack of respect” for New Zealand and Test cricket. “I don’t think Steve Waugh will care what I say but I love how everyone outside of South Africa has become expert on South African cricket.
“Our hand has been forced, I think everyone understands that the SA20 has to happen. Yes there was a co*ckup, I mean someone got it wrong with the scheduling and this is why we are in this situation.
“But the SA20 has to happen because it will be the lifeblood of South African cricket. If it doesn’t happen we won’t have Test cricket anyway.
“It’s unfortunate that it is the way it is but we all saw the value of the league last year. We need to find a way to coexist with the league and all the other leagues around the world to ensure the sustainability. Yes, maybe the people higher up need to take a stance on where Test cricket stands outside shall I say the