Windies captain Lara hits out at groundsmen

Published: Friday, June 16, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St Lucia:Thanking his lucky stars that Team India left out Harbhajan Singh for the drawn second Test here, West Indies captain Brian Lara has lashed out at the groundsmen for preparing pitches, which have suited the visitors' bowling attack.

''We are preparing pitches that favour India. Harbhajan Singh would have been a handful out there,'' Lara told CMC Cricket Plus here.

Lara said apart form Harbhajan's absence the hosts should also be thankful to the weather, which washed out the entire fourth day's play. The Windies skipper said he was relieved to have kept the series alive. Lara saved the match for his team by scoring a defiant 120 runs on the final day.

''Fortunately for us, Tuesday was washed out but I still feel we would have brought the game into today, but I like the fact that we are still in the series. There are still two Test matches left and we are looking forward to them,'' the West Indies captain said.

All praise for the groundsmen in the first Test, Lara said the pitch in Antigua was an ideal one and curators should produce tracks like that for the remainder of the series.

''You saw the match in Antigua. I thought it was an excellent pitch. The first couple of days the fast bowlers were in charge, it petered out into a batting track for the remainder of the match and we had to save it,'' he said.

''Even though we saved that match with the last ball and the last pair, I thought it was actually a very fair pitch and I would love to see that for the remainder of the series,'' Lara said.

He said despite the odds his side showed tremendous grit and determination to salvage a draw but hoped for a better effort in the remaining two games.

''It was another great match. I thought it wasn't a great Test match pitch but I think the guys again showed a lot of character,'' he said.

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