• Harmer defends Nagpur pitch

    Simon Harmer defended the wicket in Nagpur after the first day’s play as it looks unlikely that the third Test will last five days.

    South Africa will continue batting on Thursday on 11-2 after bowling India out for 215. The surface in Nagpur is a spinners’ paradise, even more so than the wicket in Mohali during the first Test.

    The similarity between the two pitches have drawn similar criticism. The Mohali Test lasted less than three days and, depending on how South Africa go on day two, it looks like the third Test is in danger of going a similar route.

    ‘I don’t think the wickets are prepared to last five days,’ Harmer said.

    ‘The reason behind the preparation of the wickets is to get a result. If India come to South Africa we will prepare wickets that suit our bowlers and so with them playing one seamer, it’s clear to see what type of wickets they are preparing.

    ‘Mohali was much the same and at the end of the day there are still three innings left. It’s going to be the same for our batters and for both teams throughout the Test match. They are challenging conditions, but that is what playing in the subcontinent is all about.┬áProfessional sport and cricket is about adapting.’

    Harmer was the standout bowler for South Africa, taking 4-73, while Morne Morkel also bowled exceptionally well for 3-35.

    ‘I found it difficult to adjust to the right pace; I think I was a little bit slow at the beginning of my spell,’ Harmer said.

    ‘I wouldn’t say I was struggling to adjust to lines and lengths. Pace on this wicket was vital so the beginning of my spell was just about finding my feet.

    ‘The biggest thing as a spinner in these conditions is to not try too hard. There were stages today where I did and that’s when I started to leak runs. It’s just about finding a rhythm, finding a line and a length and a pace that works and keeping the batsmen thinking the whole time with field placings.’

    Picture: Associated Press

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