Elgar: Third Test should have been called off

Dean Elgar third Test called off South Africa India cricket

Dean Elgar: “I do think the game or the situation of the pitch could have been addressed sooner”

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South Africa opener Dean Elgar has admitted that the third Test against India should have been called off due to the unsafe condition of the pitch.

Elgar was struck on the helmet in a scary incident towards the end of the third day, which prompted the umpires to take the players off and mull over whether play should continue.

While it ultimately did and India went on to win the match and claim a consolation win, Elgar, who revisited the incident that led to Australia batsman Phil Hughes’ death, insisted that the umpires should have made the tough decision of abandoning the match much earlier.

“Last night was unfortunate that we had to go off in that period and it was unfortunate that someone had to get hit on the face for actions to be taken,” he was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “But those actions are out of the players hands so we had no say in the matter.”

When asked if the match should have been called off, he said: “I do think so, yes. On day three the wicket didn’t play great. Faf (du Plessis) mentioned earlier in his presser that batters got hit a lot more than in usual Test matches. I do think if there was a period to call if off it was sooner rather than later.

“Unfortunately it took an incident of being hit in the head, where we could have had another incident of what happened in Australia. I think there is a bit of red tape that guys need to address and maybe do it sooner.

“I know that people want to watch Test cricket the whole day, but we’re also human beings. We’re not just machines, we’re not just going to take blows and accept putting our bodies on the line. It was unfortunate that it had to go into that depth, but I do think the game or the situation of the pitch could have been addressed sooner.”

Responding to what occurred when he was struck on the helmet by a delivery from India pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, Elgar admitted that it was a “freak” accident.

“I had already been peppered three or four times before that,” the 30-year-old said. “I know what was spoken throughout the day and I know they had a feeling of this wicket not being the greatest. It was extremely freak. I’ve faced many fast bowlers before and I know the Wanderers wicket has that steep bounce, but I have never experienced it like that.

“I can’t think I would have played it any better because if it was that short on a wicket with bounce, it would have gone way over my head and at least given me some time to get out of the way. It’s a freak moment and thankfully the umpires had sanity about the incident.”

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