India are playing a 3-match Test series against South Africa. India are favourites to win the series as they are playing at home and they have an almost invincible record in their own den. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India have lost just one Test at home. And they look to maintain their invincible record in South Africa series as well.
India vs South Africa series, whether Test or limited-overs series, has been always under news for one controversy or the other.
Cricwizz takes a look at five controversies that have marred India vs South Africa Test series.
Test ban to Sachin Tendulkar for ball-tampering
During the South Africa series in 2001, match referee Mike Dennes handed various bans to Indian cricketers. Sachin Tendulkar was given a Test ban for ball-tampering, while Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Shiv Sundar Das and Deep Das Gupta were given a Test ban each for excessive appealing.
Even captain Sourav Ganguly wasn’t spared. However, due to huge public outrage back home and BCCI threatening to call off the tour of South Africa, ICC overturned the bans on all except Sehwag, who had to be dropped for the first Test against England.
The third Test between India and South was deemed unofficial and Dennes was replaced with Denis Lindsay.
S Sreesanth’s jig after winning a battle against Andre Nel
When someone taunts you, and you reply back in equal measure, you celebrate it with all your might. We have done that in childhood. And Sreesanth carried forward in his international career. South Africa bowler Andre Nel had once attempted to unsettle S Sreesanth by calling him a “scared rabbit” during the Johannesburg Test of 2007. Sreesanth chose to answer with his bat. The next ball he hoisted it for a six and broke into an impromptu jig to celebrate the moment. It was perfect child-like revenge by Sreesanth.
The 2000 ODI series between India and South Africa was marred with an unwanted controversy. South African captain Hansie Cronje was accused of fixing matches during the series by the Delhi police. The cricket world was left in shock after celebrated cricketer Cronje later admitted that he took money to give ‘information and forecast, but not match-fixing’.
He was also accused of asking his teammates to underperform in lieu of money. He was banned from cricket for a lifetime. Cronje died in a plane crash two years later.
Peter Kirsten mankaded by Kapil Dev
During an ODI at Port Elizabeth in 1992, Indian pacer Kapil Dev mankaded Peter Kirsten for backing up too far. Kapil insisted that he has warned the batsman who left the crease for the third time before he was mankaded. An angry Kapil even gave him a send-off.
Kirsten wasn’t pleased and showed his displeasure and was fined 50 % of his match fees for showing dissent. South African captain Kepler Wessels also protested the dismissal, but the umpires held the decision and Kirsten was left red-faced.
Sub-standard Kapur pitch in 2008
India went into the third Test at Kanpur trailing 1-0 in the series. They needed to win desperately to level the series. South Africa were handed a dust-bowl tailormade for Indian spinners.
South Africa stumbled to 8-wicket defeat as Indian spinners came to the party with the match ending in less than 3 days. The series was levelled 1-1.
The pitch came under scanner as South Africa cried foul. Match referee Roshan Mahanama gave a poor rating to the Kanpur pitch.