Having required 224 runs with nine wickets remaining, South Africa will resume their second innings at the Wanderers, Johannesburg, on Day 4 of the third Test on Saturday. South Africa coach Ottis Gibson said people should not harbour thoughts that they have complaints about the wicket even as the home players went off the ground after Dean Elgar took a blow on his helmet.
The match now hangs in balance with day four set to continue as scheduled. "India over the course of the three days have utilized the conditions better than we did. They've made us play a lot more. We bowled wider than we should have on this pitch. They've had the upper hand from the first day and they deserve to be in the position that they are," the Proteas coach said.
India vs South Africa, 3rd Test: Day 3 called off after Elgar hit on head, SA need 224 on 'dangerous' pitch
Gibson said they want a resumption of play in the third Test but the conditions should be safe for batting.
"Throughout the whole game on both sides we saw batsmen wearing a few on the body. I hope you are not sitting here thinking we are complaining. But obviously Dean got hit in the face when he wasn't able to take evasive action.
"Ultimately we are here to play cricket and we still want to play cricket. But again the match referees decision will be based around player safety. He's not going to call it off if he thinks its safe.
"We don't know what his decision is going to be, but if he comes tomorrow morning and says that its game on, we will go and play," Gibson said before the decision to resume play on Saturday was announced.
"Once the decision is made, that's it, and we prepare like we do every morning and we go out and play. The batsmen will try and do their best to bat us to victory," he added.
The umpires had several on-field discussions, but it was only when Elgar was hit that match referee Andy Pycroft intervened and took the players off. Apparently, both teams had been told of this eventuality during the tea break.
The delivery that hit Dean Elgar was bone of contention at the South African media conference. Team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee was of the opinion that it was a length ball that reared up and hit the batsman and not a regulation short delivery.
I'm not sure we were watching the same game. The ball that hit Dean Elgar shot off a good length, Moosajee said, much to the surprise of everyone present.
Gibson didn't disagree with him completely but said that the pitch shouldn't be behaving like this off a short length either.
Pitches have been a huge subject of debate during this series with the Proteas openly asking for quick wickets with ample pace and bounce.
They were highly critical of the sub-continental type pitch for the second Test in Centurion.
"The wicket in Centurion last week wasn't like that (pace and bounce). Everybody is making a big issue of grass but we've never asked for grass, we asked for pace and bounce. If you're a groundsman and we ask you to make a wicket with pace and bounce and you feel that the best way to do that is leave grass on the wicket, that's it.
"The Test in Cape Town only went three days but we thought it was a good wicket. We asked for a similar wicket in Centurion and it was more like Mumbai than anywhere else and it was a great Test match as well. With this one, the wicket has unfortunately got worse as the match has gone on, Gibson said.
(With PTI inputs)