The Proteas will be ‘happy’ with the Wanderers wicket being prepared for the third Test against India, starting on Wednesday, says curator Bethuel Buthelezi.
Buthelezi is mindful of the views of the Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, who expressed his concern at not getting the wickets he wanted to exploit their strength in the fast-bowling department.
After the second Test at Centurion, Du Plessis criticised the wicket, which was more akin to a subcontinent strip than a South African pace wicket, even though India were comfortably beaten.
‘This wasn’t the Centurion wicket that I know,’ Du Plessis said. ‘That is a concern. This was an opportunity that we missed. We made a process where we made sure that Cricket South Africa has someone that can look after the groundsmen to get the right pitches when we play against teams at home.
‘We don’t want to make it ridiculous, we just wanted a pitch with pace and bounce,’ he added.
Buthelezi said that the South Africans would get what they wanted. He told Wisden India: ‘I’ve got to keep them happy. They’ll be happy. It’s a result pitch.
‘Everything is going well with my preparation,’ he added. ‘I have the sunshine and no rain. Pace and bounce will be there. Everybody will be happy playing here at the Wanderers Stadium. I will be cutting some grass before the match starts. There will be more pace and bounce than lateral movement.’
Unlike in Centurion, the heat wouldn’t burn the grass on the pitch in Johannesburg. ‘We have enough water,’ he said. ‘The heat won’t burn the grass. We have been putting water every day.’