The Indian team management was miffed with the Wankhede track prepared by the Mumbai Cricket Association ground staff for the deciding fifth and final ODI against South Africa which the hosts lost by 214 runs to clinch the series 3-2 in Mumbai on Sunday.
MCA sources told PTI that the team management wanted the pitch to give some help to the spinners, the home team’s trump card, but the absolutely flat deck prepared for the game, with the series hanging in balance 2-2, upset their calculations.
“They wanted the track to be a bit loose, but the suggestion was rejected and a 350-run track was asked to be prepared,” said the source, pleading anonymity.
South Africa won the toss, chose to bat in hot conditions and ran up a skyscraper-like score of 438 for four with three batsmen – Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and skipper A B de Villiers – cracking blistering hundreds each.
In response, India were bundled for 224 to hand over the series to South Africa, their first bilateral ODI series win on Indian soil in five attempts.