- Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar made their way to the middle after India set a target of 305 to start the chase on a promising note.
- Ashwin scoured the new Kookaburra reds and selected the ideal one for India. Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj were also present.
Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin correctly identified an error with the new ball handed to the Indian team ahead of the final innings on Day 4 of the first Test between India and South Africa at SuperSport Park Centurion, causing a “bizarre” delay.
South African openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar made their way to the middle after India set a target of 305 to start the chase on a promising note. The new ball was given to Jasprit Bumrah, but there was a slight delay.
“We didn’t pick the ball,” Ashwin, India’s new-ball picker, said as he presented it to the umpires. The Indian captain, Virat Kohli, quickly joined the protest, and the on-field umpires ordered the box of new balls to be brought out.
The fielding team is given the option of selecting a new ball from a dozen presented to them at the start of their bowling innings.
Ashwin scoured the new Kookaburra reds and selected the ideal one for India. Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj were also present.
Before the run-up, Kohli and Ashwin both looked at the ball’s seam and flipped it up like a seamer. Before Bumrah was given the new ball for the first over, he even handed it to Siraj.
Former Australian cricketer Mike Haysman said on-air about the delay, “This is bizarre,” before former South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock responded, “This is for deep cricket enthusiasts.” Pollock then explained the reasoning behind the selection process and how his former teammate Jacques Kallis used to mock the pace bowlers for it.
When asked how many times he failed to pick a good new ball, Pollock replied, “Let me tell you, we always picked a good lemon, particularly in South Africa.”
With that new ball, India took two wickets. Mohammed Shami dismissed Markram in the first over, while Siraj dismissed Keegan Petersen for 17 in the 15th over.
South Africa finished Day 4 on 94 for 4, 211 runs behind the target, with India needing six wickets to make Centurion history.