Ottis Gibson says that until the ICC asks for standardised pitches around the world, he expects home tracks to continue to favour the Proteas, writes KHALID MOHIDIN from Newlands.
The preparation of the pitches during the Test series between South Africa and Pakistan has been under the microscope, with Centurion and Newlands, in particular, seeing spicy surfaces that aided the Proteas’ quick-fire pace attack.
Nasty blows to players from both sides were evident, and it made life tricky for batsmen to play a free-flowing game, particularly against the new or slightly roughed-up ball.
However, Gibson says he is content with the pitches prepared in the series, as they favoured his deadly pace attack. He called upon the ICC to step in if it felt the pitches had failed to promote evenly-contested Test matches.
‘By the way, I don’t prepare the pitches, we only play on it. Every other country does it and we will continue to do it until the ICC says to everybody “this is a standard pitch that you prepare for Test cricket”, and then everybody plays on it and it’s a level playing field for everybody,’ said Gibson.
‘But at the moment, when you go away from home, you take what you get. We did that in Sri Lanka and it wasn’t comfortable – we lost horribly – and therefore, when you are playing at home I think that conditions should favour us.’
He then rubbished the argument that because batsmen had been taking nasty blows during the series, it means that the pitches should automatically be considered dangerous.
‘Guys have been getting hit in Test cricket for years and guys got hit off the length back then too … and they showed some character and some courage and stuck it out,’ he added. ‘Faf [du Plessis] got hit but he stuck it out and got a hundred.’
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images