Dean Elgar says the Test between the Proteas and India at the Wanderers should have been abandoned earlier on Friday, because of the dangerous pitch.
The players were taken off the field by the umpires and match referee late on day three, after Elgar had been struck on the grill of his helmet by a Jasprit Bummrah bouncer.
The umpires and match referee then met with the captains, with the ICC later announcing that play would resume on day four.
After India had clinched a 63-run win on Saturday, Elgar told the media he believed the match should have been called off earlier on Friday.
‘On day three, the wicket didn’t play well. Batters got hit a hell of a lot of times. If there was a period to call it off, it was sooner [than when the players left the field].
‘We could have had an incident of what happened in Australia [Phil Hughes died after being hit on the head by a bouncer]. People want to watch Test cricket but we are also human beings. We are not just going to take blows and accept putting our bodies on the line. The situation could have been addressed sooner.’
Elgar disagreed with the general view that the delivery that hit him on the grill was a standard bouncer.
‘I had already been peppered three or four times before that. I knew what had been said throughout the day and I knew they had a feeling of this wicket not being the greatest. It was extremely freaky.
‘I’ve faced many fast bowlers and I know the Wanderers wicket has that steep bounce, but I have never experienced it like that. Which obviously put a bit of doubt in the umpires’ minds.
‘I can’t think I would have played it any better because if it was that sort of 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 was a freak moment and thankfully the umpires had sanity about the incident.’
Faf Du Plessis was harsh of his assessment of the Wanderers wicket.
‘The only time I got a little bit concerned for player safety was when Dean got hit in the face. Even in the Indian innings, quite a few guys got hit on the finger quite regularly.
‘I think if you count the number of times guys who got hit, it was much more than usual. Excessive sideways movement is tough but not dangerous. As soon as guys started getting hit from a length, that’s when we thought it might be dangerous. But surprisingly the pitch played fine again today, today was fine.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images