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Ashwell Prince Critiques Cape Town Pitch Amidst Dramatic Day 1
By CricShots - Jan 4, 2024 1:14 pm
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The rapid progression of the 2nd Test between India and South Africa on the opening day has raised the possibility of the contest concluding by Day 2, especially if the challenging pitch in Cape Town continues to torment batters. South Africa’s captain, Dean Elgar, in the final Test of his career, chose to bat first, unaware of the dramatic turn of events that awaited. In a stunning morning session, his team was dismissed for a mere 55 runs.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj churned out carnage in Cape Town on Day 1

Despite an early setback, the Indian batters made a promising start. However, their fortunes took a historic downturn as they collapsed spectacularly, losing their final six wickets without adding a run to the scoreboard. By the end of the day’s play, South Africa found themselves three wickets down, bringing the total wicket tally to 23 on Wednesday alone.

Ashwell Prince, South Africa’s batting coach, acknowledged the exceptional performance of India’s pacer, Mohammed Siraj, who claimed six wickets earlier in the day. However, Prince was critical of the Newlands pitch.

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“Siraj bowled one of the spells of his life,” Ashwell Prince remarked. “If you combine that with two good bowlers with the new ball in their hands in favorable conditions, that is what you get.”

Ashwell Prince
Ashwell Prince

Expressing concern about the inconsistent bounce, Ashwell Prince mentioned, “Having played a lot of cricket on this ground, and having also been a coach here, I have never seen the pitch being that quick on day one. It usually speeds up on day two. But you need the bounce to be consistent. I think the bounce was a little bit inconsistent.”

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Prince also speculated on the impact of adjacent construction work on the pitch. “I don’t know if the lots of construction taking place here are affecting this pitch. If two line-ups can’t bat on a surface, that says a lot,” he added, highlighting the challenges faced by both teams on the unpredictable pitch in Cape Town.