Ravi Shastri, Shaun Pollock gives poor rating to pitch used in second Test

Former India coach Ravi Shastri and South African legend Shaun Pollock have expressed their concerns about the Cape Town pitch after witnessing a record-breaking 23 wickets fall on the opening day of the Test match.

Shastri, known for his straightforward opinions, declared the pitch as ‘dangerous’ and predicted that the match referee would closely scrutinize the Newlands surface. The former coach, accustomed to answering questions about pitches during Test matches in India, emphasized that 23 wickets falling in a single day is a clear indication of potential danger.

The Cape Town pitch raised questions about whether it was a result of a poor pitch or subpar batting. Shastri, however, noted that there weren’t many unplayable deliveries, with most dismissals occurring due to edges. While not a 55-all-out pitch, Shastri maintained it was far from a standard 250-300 wicket.

Australia holds the record for the most wickets falling on the first day of a Test match, with 25 wickets. Cape Town Test is now the second-highest in this regard.

On Day 2, the ground staff used heavy rollers to tackle issues with the pitch’s behaviour. Despite the reassurance, both Shastri and Pollock remained skeptical about any significant change in conditions. Pollock, echoing Shastri’s sentiments, predicted the end of the Test match on the same day.

“I think today marks the conclusion of the Test match for me. I firmly believe the game will conclude today. It’s now a matter of what South Africa can achieve in this situation,” Pollock said. He expressed doubt about the heavy roller’s impact and foresaw the game concluding by the end of Day 2.

South Africa, batting first on Day 1 were bowled out for a mere 55 runs. India’s innings started promisingly, with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill contributing a solid 55-run partnership. However, a dramatic collapse unfolded post-tea, triggered by KL Rahul’s dismissal, resulting in six Indian wickets falling in just 11 balls without scoring a run.

On Day 2, India dismissed South Africa for 176 in the third innings. India then chased down the target of 79 runs with seven wickets to complete the shortest-ever game in the history of Test cricket.

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