Khaya Zondo has been absolutely savaged by cricket fans and commentators after a horror review and his baffling reaction during the third Test against Australia at the SCG. Zondo fell victim to a scintillating spell from Australia captain Pat Cummins on Saturday after a brilliant yorker struck his pads right in front of the stumps.
Zondo was given out on-field but made the staggering decision to use the DRS, appearing to believe he'd hit the ball. Snicko did register a large spike when the ball was near Zondo's bat, but it appeared to come from the bat hitting the ground before the ball cannoned into both pads.
Third umpire Richard Kettleborough upheld the on-field decision, much to the dismay of Zondo. The South African batter threw his hands in the air after 'out' came up on the big screen and took an age to leave the field.
“There was a spike so, yeah,” Zondo said after play when asked if he believed he'd hit the ball. “I don’t want to go too on about it, the decision’s made. It is what it is.”
A number of commentators were left stunned by Zondo's review, as well as the reaction. Mark Waugh said on Fox Sports: “Not sure what Zondo’s looking around for. He thinks he’s not out.
"Whether he thought he hit it or not, it’s pitched in line, hitting in line, hitting the stumps. Looked out to me and it’s given out. Zondo was looking at his partner as he walked off.”
Gerard Whateley shredded Zondo over his decision to use DRS on SEN radio. He said: “This is so out that you should forfeit your wicket in the second innings. It’s hit both pads."
Others fans described the review as 'horrible' and 'farcical'.
Australia chasing 14 wickets to beat South Africa
Zondo's wicket was one of three Cummins took on Saturday as Australia claimed six of the 20 scalps they need to claim an unlikely victory. With more bad weather washing out the morning session on day four, Cummins was forced to declare Australia's innings at 4-475 before play finally re-started.
The brutal call left Usman Khawaja stranded on 195 not out but shaped as the only way Australia was going to win the Test match with just five sessions remaining. South Africa went to stumps at 6-149, still 127 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.
Australia will be desperate to bowl the Proteas out for less than 275 on Sunday, which will allow them to send the tourists back in to bat straight away and hope to claim another 10 wickets. If South Africa can avoid the follow on they will force Australia to have to bat again and waste precious time.
With 98 overs to be bowled on Sunday, the Aussies are confident they can claim 14 wickets. Working in their favour is the fact that every South Africa innings so far this series has lasted fewer than 70 overs.
The Aussies also have experience chasing wickets on the final day at the SCG. Last year during the Ashes they needed 10 wickets on the fifth day to beat England, but fell one short. They also needed eight wickets against India in 2021 but could only manage three.
"If we were going out needing seven, eight or nine wickets, we would be very confident," Josh Hazlewood said on Saturday. "The wicket against India was totally different. It had long grass all through it, and that here keeps it together so much. (This) wicket after a bit of traffic down, it looked quite nice with Gazza (Nathan Lyon) bowling into that rough."
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