'Unplayable' - Gabba pitch slammed after two-day Test
The pitch used at the iconic Gabba in Brisbane for the first Test of the marquee three-match series between Australia and South Africa has fallen under scanner after a shocking 34 wickets fell in what was ultimately a two-day outing.
Less than 150 overs of play took place across four innings and two afternoons in a Test match that was over before the final session of Day 2 on Sunday (December 18).
Australia managed to inch over Proteas' measly target of 34 runs at the cost of four wickets after bundling out the tourists for only 99 in the third-innings. This, having taken a crucial 66-run lead thanks to a magnificent knock of 92 from Travis Head in a team total of 218 all out, made in response to South Africa's 152 dismissed in the first-innings.
As the pacers ruled the roost on what happened to be green carpet of a surface that accentuated the movement that Gabba generally offers to the seamers with sharp bounce, those watching wondered where the next run would come from.
Some even questioned the merit of the surface and asked would the fans from outside the Asian bloc give it the same reading as they would to a raging turner like Ahmedabad last year, when the D/N Test between India and England was also over within 2 days.
The Gabbatoir under scanner after two-day Test match
It remains to be seen what reading does the ICC give to the surface used over two afternoons at the Gabba but fans and prominent faces from the cricketing world have already given their verdict to the track, which made batters' life extremely difficult to survive and manage to score runs.
Here is how they reacted:
Hey so called cricket expert now you don’t say any word about that pitch which ended test match in 2 Day #AUSvsSA— Anuj Singh (@aceeking7) December 18, 2022
When I looked at that pitch with top green cover - knew its going to be a bowling paradise. Aus took a risk and worked for them - SA could have been on the winning side with their dangerous bowling attack but their batting hasnot been clicking lately.— Amit Singh (@toamisin) December 18, 2022
142 overs and not even lasting 2 days and they have the audacity to lecture on what kind of pitches are needed. Had it happened in India, it would have been labelled end of test cricket, ruining test cricket and what not. The Hypocrisy is mind-boggling . #AUSvSA— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 18, 2022
i don't wanna see the Aussie media cry or rant when India makes a similar 2-day pitch when they come for BGT— Omi 🇮🇳🧡 (@homiie_30) December 18, 2022
Aussies out here having a 2 day test match 🤣🤣🤣 I wanna hear all these “pundits/journos” who ripped India for beating England in 2 days in Ahmedabad have the same energy about the pitch!! #CricketTwitter— Prakz (@PrakzStar) December 18, 2022
If 2004 Mumbai pitch was deemed poor, this should also be.. This mindset of people praising bouncy, lateral movement pitches vs bashing spining wicket must change!!— Raghav Srinivasan (@RaghavSrinivas7) December 18, 2022
Today's match is like the Italian Grand Prix..super fast, enjoyable race.— Box box box !! (@Chay_Vishnu) December 18, 2022
Matches on sub continent pitches are like wet races...once in a while they look good but at the end the audience like Super fast racing stuff https://t.co/3E0tKlFBst
One of the deadliest wicket I ever seen this is what we don't want as a Test Cricket lover. Australia should be ashamed about this pitch https://t.co/XM1kdHQOi0— Abhishek (@Abhishek121997) December 18, 2022
Match in Australia finished in 2 days?? No one blaming the pitch 🙃— Ramesh (@Ramesh14079836) December 18, 2022
Australia vs South Africa was a shit 145-overs match precisely because of the pitch. Declarations are an integral part of Test cricket. What is the problem with them? You don't have a problem with crap Gabba pitch but have a problem with declarations making matches interesting? https://t.co/vCdD8WVBYW— Whyteknight (@whyteknight07) December 18, 2022
This at the Gabba isn't unplayable but a very difficult pitch to bat on. Almost too difficult. A proper, spicy Andhra curry that is edible but leaves you gasping.....— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 18, 2022
Plenty of stick being given to the Gabba pitch, from what I can see. Equally large numbers wondering why it's not getting any stick, because if it was an Indian pitch it would be getting stick. Hard to keep up with all the stick/non-stick.— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) December 18, 2022
Pitch-making not being the most perfect science, one would sympathise with the curators at the Gabba, who have historically prepared tracks that offer good pace and bounce without excessive lateral movement.
Apart from the seamers, spinners who relish the bounce have enjoyed their time out in the middle, as have the batters who love the ball coming onto the quickly.