ICC Gives 'UNSATISFACTORY' Rating to Newlands Pitch for 2nd IND vs SA Test

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India's next Test assignment will be a 5-match series against ENG on home soil from January 25.

Vishal Singh Jan. 10, 2024

The shortest Test match in history ended with just 642 balls after the Proteas were bowled out for 55 balls in the first innings. Led by Mohammed Siraj's brilliant spell of 6-15, India defeated the home team, posting their lowest Test score since 1932. The match was over within five sessions after India took a lead of 98 runs and then once again humbled the hosts for 176. In the end, India was able to easily achieve the goal of 79 runs.

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The match referee for the game, Chris Board deemed the pitch “unsatisfactory” under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.

“The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on. The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it difficult to play shots. Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce.”
~Broad said

When is a Pitch declared “unsatisfactory?”

According to the latest guidelines which gets effective from November 2023, a Test pitch will be rated “very good”, “satisfactory”, “unsatisfactory” or “unfit” at the end of the game by the referee.

An unsatisfactory pitch will be declared if “A pitch that does not allow an even contest between bat and ball:
– Either by favouring the batters too much, with minimal wicket-taking opportunities for both seam and spin, or
– By favouring the bowlers too much, with too many wicket-taking opportunities for either seam or spin.”

A total of 33 wickets fell in this match, all to the seamers. In the Test match, two spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Keshav Maharaj, one from each side, didn't deliver even a single spell as it was clear in the minds of the captain that only pacers could do some magical stuff here. In the end, the pitch was rated as "unsatisfactory'', with the pitch being judged to be "too bowler-friendly and create too many wicket-taking opportunities for seamers".

A field is declared "unsuitable" only if it is hazardous in nature. Despite the mixed bounce at Newlands and the few shots the batsmen endured, Broad did not declare it dangerous to bat, resulting in an "unsatisfactory" rating.

What demerit points will Newlands get?

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Newlands has received one demerit point. If the venue gets six demerit points over five years, it shall be suspended for 12 months.