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Day 3 - Highlights: India battle hard as 'dangerous' pitch puts rest of the Test in doubt
India tour of South Africa

Day 3 - Highlights: India battle hard as 'dangerous' pitch puts rest of the Test in doubt

Further play in the third Test between South Africa and India was in the hands of the match officials on Friday after play was called off shortly before the scheduled close on the third day at the Wanderers.

Umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, in consultation with match referee Andy Pycroft, took the players off the field after South African opener Dean Elgar was hit on the grille of his helmet by a short ball from India’s Jasprit Bumrah.

There had been several discussions between the umpires earlier in the day because of unusual bounce and deviation on a pitch which former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar had earlier described as "dangerous".

Both captains were called into a meeting with Pycroft and the umpires in accordance with International Cricket Council regulations.

Indian manager Sunil Subramanian made it clear that India wanted play to resume on Saturday.

India were in a strong position with South Africa 17 for one after being set to make 241 to win.

Both managers had been called to a meeting with Pycroft during the tea interval.

“We were told that if the conditions were unfit for play, both captains would be consulted,” said Subramanian.

“We held the view that the wicket was doing the same for all three days and today was the day with the least wickets and the strike rate was the highest. We would like play to continue.”

Only two Test matches have previously been abandoned because of dangerous conditions.

In January 1998, England were 17 for three against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Jamaica when the umpires stopped play because of a dangerous pitch.

In February 2009, a match between the same two teams in Antigua was called off after ten balls because a soft outfield was regarded as dangerous for bowlers and fielders.

Subramanian said he believed that the ball which struck Elgar was “a normal ball” which had bounced from short of a length. Subramanian said he understood that a decision might be made as late as Saturday morning.

South African manager Mohammed Moosajee said the decision rested entirely with the match referee.

“We can’t say either way whether we want to play or not. They’ve got to make a decision whether it’s safe or not.”