Proteas blame groundsman after embarrassing loss to India

The second Test between South Africa and India at Newlands has raised concerns about the pitch, with criticism coming from both players and coaches.

Proteas coach Shukri Conrad believes that the groundsman, Braam Mong, may have made some mistakes in preparing the pitch, and he will have to accept the criticism that follows.

The match, which lasted just over four sessions, became the quickest in history in terms of the number of balls bowled.

India emerged victorious by seven wickets, leveling the series after South Africa’s win in the first Test at Centurion.

The Newlands pitch in Cape Town faced intense scrutiny as 23 wickets fell on the first day of the match.

Proteas batting consultant Ashwell Prince and batsman Aiden Markram both noted the inconsistent bounce, which troubled most of the batters except Markram himself.

Markram, who scored an impressive 106 in the team’s second innings, expressed the difficulty of dealing with the up and down nature of the pitch.

He stated, “If the inconsistency is either up or down, it’s okay because you can find a plan to deal with it. But when it’s up and down, it’s tough.”

Prince also remarked on the unusual nature of the pitch, with good length balls bouncing above the wicket-keepers’ shoulders, something he had never witnessed before at Newlands.

While criticism is expected, it remains to be seen how the International Cricket Council will respond to the pitch conditions.

As the series progresses, the focus will shift to the upcoming matches and the adjustments that may be made to ensure a fair and balanced playing surface.

Ultimately, the Newlands groundsman will have to acknowledge any shortcomings in pitch preparation and learn from the experience, just as players and coaches must accept their own mistakes.

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