The Indian bowlers had a tough day in office, thanks to a frustratingly long-wagging South African tail. The patience of Keshav Maharaj (72 off 132) and Vernon Philander (44 off 192) wasn’t enough to bridge the 326-run deficit the visitors still trail by, but it certainly took some momentum away from the hosts.
Amidst all the intense on-field action going on, fans and the players witnessed a moment of commotion. Just around the time Vernon Philander was coming out to bat, a fan was spotted charging down onto the field. The person headed for the slip position where opener Rohit Sharma was fielding. The fan aimed for Rohit’s toes and bent town to touch the opening batsman’s feet. Startled by the commotion, Rohit tripped behind and fell on his back. Here’s the video of the incident:
— Rohit Sharma Trends™ (@TrendsRohit) October 12, 2019
Another Test, another pitch invader!
This one made a beeline for @ImRo45 , and tried to kiss his feet…
Pune cops far more alert than Visakhapatnam, mind you…
Taken him down the tunnel that leads to the kennels 👀#IndvSA pic.twitter.com/VdEmEoYszd
— Squinting Quarantino (@whamzam17) October 12, 2019
In Indian culture, touching feet is a gesture of respect, hence affirming the sentiment that the person was one of Rohit’s fans. There wasn’t much to grasp from the fan’s reaction, because the very next moment security officials were escorting him off the field. Once he could recover, Rohit merely laughed off the incident and further play resumed. Thankfully the impact did not hurt Rohit much and he could field for rest of the day.
Security crew needs to be more watchful- Gavaskar
Humor aside, the incident raises concerns about player security. This is the third instance of security breach in only the second test-match. Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar, who was doing commentary at that time, echoed some serious sentiments. “These incidents happen because the security crew are not watching the crowd but are watching the match. This is a dangerous security issue, for the players can be physically harmed. I say; put the camera on the security and check whether they are watching the match or the crowd. Injuries have happened in the past, so why take a chance?”, Gavaskar said on-air.
Should India enforce a follow-on and try to win by an innings? Or will they play safe and set the tourists a fourth-innings target? Let us know of what you think in the comments.