Arthur slams state of Test pitches in South Africa

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Pakistan coach Micky Arthur slammed the state of the pitches that his team have played on in the first two Tests in South Africa.

The tourists lost by 49 runs in the first Test in Centurion in a game that never got to the fourth day on a surface that had plenty of inconsistent bounce.

At Newlands Pakistan were unable to cope with the Proteas pace battery as they shot out for just 177 on the first day.

Even though the home team responded by being 386/6 at the close of day two, Arthur. who coached South Africa for four years until 2010, still took aim at the pitches provided.

The Pakistan mentor said: “I haven’t been back to South Africa in a cricketing capacity since 2010 and the standard of the wickets – the wicket we had at Centurion and the wicket here – I think haven’t been good enough for Test cricket.

“It is inconsistent. I think there were seven stoppages today for balls that hit cracks and the physio came running out and we’re talking about day two.

“I understand that if it is happening on days four and five because that’s what happens in Test cricket: wickets deteriorate significantly and so they should, but it shouldn’t make your first innings a lottery, and I think that batting here in the first innings is extremely tough.”

Arthur said the Newlands wicket was not dangerous and he understood that the hosts would want to take full advantage of their own conditions.

He added: “With South Africa, particularly when you play a subcontinent team, you’re always going to ask for bounce and pace.

“I think both wickets have been very weighted in favour of the bowlers, and obviously because it is home ground advantage. We get the ball to turn a little bit in the UAE.

“I just think it is inconsistent. I think there were seven stoppages today for balls that hit cracks and the physio came running out and we’re talking about day two.

“I understand that if it is happening on days four and five because that’s what happens in Test cricket.”


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