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South Africa pitches 'haven't been good enough for Test cricket', says Mickey Arthur

The tourists were reduced to 27 for 2 early in their second innings in the second Test at Newlands on Saturday morning, having been bowled out for 177 first time around

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The Cricketer | 1/5/2019 at 11:19 AM

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has criticised the condition of pitches in South Africa as his side's difficulties with the bat continue.

The tourists were reduced to 27 for 2 early in their second innings in the second Test at Newlands on Saturday morning, having been bowled out for 177 first time around.

That followed a low-scoring affair at Centurion, in which neither side managed a total above 230, and Arthur has now hit out at the quality of strips being provided for the series.

"I haven’t been back to South Africa in a cricketing capacity since 2010 and the standard of the wickets – the wicket we had at Centurion and the wicket here – I think haven’t been good enough for Test cricket," said Arthur, whose team are staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat in Cape Town after the hosts made 431 in their first innings.

"It is inconsistent. I think there were seven stoppages today for balls that hit cracks and the physio came running out and we’re talking about day two.

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South Africa are in control of the second Test against Pakistan

"I understand that if it is happening on days four and five because that’s what happens in Test cricket: wickets deteriorate significantly and so they should, but it shouldn’t make your first innings a lottery, and I think that batting here in the first innings is extremely tough.”

While he conceded that South Africa are within their rights to curate a pitch which suits their pace attack, Arthur remains unhappy with the way in which the wickets have deteriorated.

He said: "With South Africa, particularly when you play a subcontinent team, you’re always going to ask for bounce and pace.

"I think both wickets have been very weighted in favour of the bowlers, and obviously because it is home ground advantage. We get the ball to turn a little bit in the UAE.

"I just think it is inconsistent. I think there were seven stoppages (on Friday) for balls that hit cracks and the physio came running out and we’re talking about day two."

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