Australia accused of 'hypocrisy' as 'atrocious' farce angers cricket world

Steve Smith and the Aussies, pictured here limping over the line to win the first cricket Test against South Africa at the Gabba.
Steve Smith and the Aussies limped over the line to win the first cricket Test against South Africa at the Gabba. Image: Getty

Indian great Virender Sehwag has accused Australia of hypocrisy in the wake of the two-day Test at the Gabba against South Africa. For just the second time in cricket history, a Test match in Australia finished inside two days as the Aussies won by six wickets.

The two sides combined for just 504 runs at an average of 14.8 per dismissal as a staggering 34 wickets fell in less than two days. The only other time a Test in Australia has lasted less than two days was way back in 1931.

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The pitch at the Gabba is sure to come under scrutiny from the ICC after way more grass was left on the surface than usual. The pace bowlers were able to create a huge amount of seam movement, while Proteas captain Dean Elgar said he was concerned about the amount of divots that were being left in the pitch.

The farcical scenes have been condemned by a number of Aussie cricket greats, but criticism is also coming in from around the world. Sehwag pointed out that Australia is usually quick to criticise the state of pitches in India, which are quick to break up and favour spinners.

“142 overs and not even lasting 2 days and they have the audacity to lecture on what kind of pitches are needed," Sehwag tweeted. "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."

Aussie legend Ricky Ponting said he'd never seen a greener wicket at the Gabba. The former Australia captain said he wouldn't be surprised if the ICC gave the pitch a 'poor' rating.

"To have 22 wickets fall in the first four sessions of a Test match says to me these are very, very good bowling teams, no doubt about that. But I don't think that the batters are that bad," Ponting said on Channel 7.

"Speaking to some of the players this morning, they think it is as difficult surface they have ever played on. A lot of these guys have played a lot of cricket. They have played a lot of cricket. They have played on some pretty tough wickets in different places around the world. So probably pretty justified at the moment."

Dean Elgar and Pat Cummins, pictured here in action in the first cricket Test. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
34 wickets fell in less than two days on a green pitch at the Gabba. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Cricket world turns on Australia over 'atrocious' scenes

South Africa great Shaun Pollock said on Fox Sports: “I think when it’s misbehaving as much as it is, the sideways movement I’m not overly worried about too much of that. It’s when it starts standing up too steeply or going through the top creating those little divots that you do feel that maybe the curator’s got it slightly wrong.”

Elgar suggested the pitch was dangerous and even went to the length of asking umpires if the game should be called off. "I don't think it was a very good Test wicket," he said. "I did ask the umpires when KG (Kagiso Rabada) got (Travis) Head out down leg. I said, 'How long does it go on for until it potentially is unsafe?' Nortje was bowling those short ones that were flying over our heads.

"I know the game was dead and buried. It was never to try and change (the result) or to put a halt to the game.

"It was interesting to see how quickly this one did start divoting and how quickly the ball sped up, especially the new ball. Also today the older ball was flying through which shouldn't be happening. The divots definitely had quite a big role to play especially with the sideways movement. Obviously the ball had that steep bounce which was quite something to face."

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