Pat Cummins' brutal response after Dean Elgar rips 'dangerous' Gabba pitch

Pat Cummins and Dean Elgar, pictured here in the first Test between Australia and South Africa.
Pat Cummins has fired back after Dean Elgar's criticism of the Gabba pitch. Image: Getty

Pat Cummins has shot down suggestions from South Africa captain Dean Elgar that the pitch at the Gabba was dangerous after the first Test ended inside two days. A staggering 34 wickets fell in less than two days of play as a green pitch with plenty of grass proved a bowler's paradise.

South Africa were bowled out for just 99 on Sunday, with Australia then limping over the finish line at 4-35 for a six-wicket victory. After 15 wickets fell on the opening day, there was absolute carnage on Sunday as another 19 wickets tumbled. It marked just the second time in cricket history that a Test match in Australia has finished inside two days, and the first since 1931.

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Speaking after play, Elgar revealed that he questioned umpires late on the second day about whether or not the pitch was unsafe for play. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje bowled a ferocious spell as the Aussies chased 35 for victory, with a number of bouncers from Nortje flying over the slips for four byes.

Rabada took all four wickets, including that of Travis Head with a vicious lifting delivery that he gloved through to the wicket-keeper. There were also a number of plays and misses as the pitch continued to wreak havoc.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Elgar didn't hold back when asked for his thoughts on the surface. The South Africa captain suggested it was dangerous and said he even asked umpires if play should be stopped.

"You've got to ask yourself the question: Is that a good advertisement for our format? Thirty-four wickets in two days. A pretty one-sided affair I would say," he said.

"I am a purist of this format and we want to see the game go four or five days. The way it started to play with some seriously steep bounce with an old ball ... you are on a hiding to none as a batting unit.

"I don't think it was a very good Test wicket. I did ask the umpires when KG (Rabada) got 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."

Elgar said he didn't get a response from the umpires as Australia had only a few runs to win. The skipper said he suspected the officials thought he was "taking the Mickey".

The Proteas captain was asked post-match if conditions were dangerous at that point. He said: "Yeah, but the game was as good as finished I guess. I am definitely not going to say it was unsafe."

Pat Cummins, pictured here after dismissing Dean Elgar in the first Test between Australia and South Africa.
Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing Dean Elgar in the first Test between Australia and South Africa. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Pat Cummins shoots down claims from Dean Elgar

However Cummins disagreed with his rival captain and suggested Elgar was doing what he could in the face of a huge loss. "If you're going to lose the match, you'd probably try anything, wouldn't you?" he said.

"It was fine. There was some sideways movement, a little bit of up and down bounce. But here's no balls jumping off a length or anything like that."

The Australian captain conceded the strip was "certainly tricky". He added: "Two days probably isn't ideal. A lot of sideways movement and today a little bit of up and down bounce as well. Personally, I kind of don't mind when the groundsman errs on the greener side occasionally.

"I've played a lot of Test matches when they've erred on the flatter side so I think it was the same for both teams. No way (was it dangerous), it was fine."

Elgar said he was concerned about how many divots were being left in the surface so early in the match. "It was interesting to see how quickly this one did start divoting and how quickly the ball sped up, especially the new ball," he said.

"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."

with AAP

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