4 October 2018

South Africa: Steyn Joins Chorus Blasting Bloemfontein Wicket

Proteas speedster Dale Steyn has criticised the nature of the Bloemfontein wicket during Wednesday's ODI against Zimbabwe.

The Proteas came out on top in a low-scoring affair, winning by 120 runs after having been bowled out for just 198 .

The win gave the Proteas an unassailable 2-0 series lead, but both pitches so far in the series have been below standard.

The first ODI in Kimberley dished up a slow surface with a tennis ball-like bounce and no carry, while the wicket in Bloemfontein on Wednesday was simply dangerous.

Some deliveries kept low, while others spat up nastily off a length, making batting incredibly difficult.

The measure of a wicket has always been to provide a fair contest between bat and ball, but that was certainly not the case in Bloemfontein.

Steyn, who was named man-of-the-match for his knock of 60 and figures of 2/19, agreed.

"The wicket obviously wasn't the best, if I must be honest with you," he said after the match.

"I've been around and I've seen quite a lot of different pitches to play on. I think it started off with Reeza's (Hendricks) one where it didn't get that bounce and then you see some of those ones that are going through the top and hitting the splice of the bat and really just bouncing off lengths.

"It's not the kind of wicket that you really want to be playing on.

"I thought Kimberley was pretty poor and we thought it would get better coming to Bloem. I'm hoping that Paarl (3rd ODI) is going to be the best one. It was pretty tough conditions."

When asked why he thought the standard of the wicket was so poor, Steyn was not sure.

"I'd like to give you a higher-grade answer, but I'm not really a groundsman," he said.

"What I can say is that I've played a lot of cricket here in Bloem and I haven't seen so many plates before. It gives you the impression that if there is one loose plate it won't bounce and if there is a solid plate you will get that plate it just takes off a length."

The third ODI takes place in Paarl on Sunday.


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