Umpires ignored questions about Gabba pitch – Dean Elgar


Dean Elgar criticized the Gabba pitch on which Australia thrashed South Africa in two days, saying the umpires ignored his warnings about batting on it. He didn’t call it hazardous. Australia won an hour after tea on Sunday, five-and-a-half sessions into a match expected to end around dusk on Wednesday. The second-shortest men’s Test in Australia’s 355 histories was settled in 866 deliveries. South Africa batted and was dismissed for 152 and 99. 218 and 35/4.

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Elgar’s post-match press conference

By stumps on Saturday, the soft, green, seaming surface was littered with divots, which solidified on Sunday to add unevenly and often stepping bounce to the sideways movement batsmen faced throughout the Gabba. Starting with the first question, Elgar’s post-match press conference centered on his on-field thoughts of Gabba. “Let’s not squander time,” Elgar laughed. Is that good advertising for our format? Thirty-four wickets in two days—pretty one-sided. We want a four- or five-day game. With the old ball’s sharp bounce, batting units are in trouble. Three batsmen scored runs. That Test wicket wasn’t excellent”.

Kyle Verreynne’s 64 was the only score above Temba Bavuma’s 38, and Travis Head’s 92 in the first innings won the game. 15 of the 34 batters were removed after 10 deliveries. Had Elgar complained to umpires, Chris Gaffaney and Rod Tucker? “I asked the umpires,” he said. “When ‘KG’ got Head out down leg [on Sunday], I said, ‘How long does it go on before potentially becoming unsafe?'” Nortje bowled short ones over our heads. It was over. It never stopped the game, but the umpires’ discretion did.

Anrich Nortje’s bouncer is going over Cameron Green

Kagiso Rabada caught Head behind with the eighth-last ball of the match, which ended with Anrich Nortje’s bouncer going over Cameron Green and wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne. Five wides, the winning runs, went to the boundary. “No. At that point, there were few runs left, so maybe they believed I was joking. It’s a good starting point for future replies. No response, but it won’t change anything”. “I’m not going to say it was unsafe or it wasn’t safe,” Elgar said, likely to avoid a sanction for batsmen who risked harm on the Gabba pitch.

“The edges of the divots start to get harsher and more abrasive because the wicket starts drying out,” he said. Back home, wickets also create divots, making it complicated. That usually happens later in the game when those divots become essential. It started yesterday. I’m not a curator and don’t know how to prepare a cricket pitch, but it was amazing to observe how quickly this one started devoting and how fast the ball sped up, especially the new ball. Today, the older ball flew through, which shouldn’t happen. The divots helped with sideways and up-and-down mobility. Then there’s the steep-bounce ball”.

According to Dean Elgar:

“The boys know their games well enough, and hitting another 100 or 200 balls a day is not going to make you a better cricketer,” Elgar said when asked how his players would spend their three bonus days. Just another game you lost. I’d instead the boys wait until Melbourne [where the second Test begins next Monday]. I’m confident the coaching team will help other guys prepare for the next Test”.

Elgar stated, “All possibilities are on the table” for the South Africans, who have uncapped paceman Gerald Coetzee and spare hitters Theunis de Bruyn and Heinrich Klaasen. You still have to walk away and give your batters confidence and positivity. The changeroom guys have played enough cricket to recognize that this was maybe one of those moments where… let’s be honest and truthful about what just transpired. We didn’t waste wickets. We were jaffa out.

Australia bowled well. Consider all of it. Our batters entered this game confident. The warm-up game gave most men solid runs and time in the middle. Confidence isn’t low. We need to accept what happened and fix it. We have extra days now when the guys need to tap into their mental spaces, which is your biggest enemy because you may withdraw from what happened instead of addressing it and learning from it”.

Dean Elgar talked about Australian players

South Africa concluded the contest on a high by dismissing Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, and Head in seven overs as Australia approached their notional mark.

“To try and expose some old scars; basically bringing our effort and maybe get them three or four down and those batters heading into Melbourne with maybe a little bit less confidence,” Elgar added. “I guess it was one of our game plans that worked during the last two days. That one did”. “Inspire our batting team to get their heads right and knuckle down,” he hoped after Rabada took 4/13 in the second innings on Gabba.

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