Smith calls Chepauk pitch "under-prepared"

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Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 11:03 [IST]
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Chepauk pitch under-prepared: Smith

Chennai, Feb 12: It looks like the World Cup 2011 has come in for its first controversy and not a moment too soon. South African captain Graeme Smith and his Zimbabwean counterpart Elton Chigumbura called the strip at Chepauk stadium, where their respective sides played in a warm-up match on Saturday, Feb 12, "under-prepared".

They went on to express hopes it will completely ready by teh time the World Cup begins, in a week's time.

"The wicket was pretty slow and dead. Yet, Morne Morkel,who bowled well in in South Africa had carried the form here. I was standing in the slips and I must say that he manage to hit the deck well," he said.

Explaining the conditions today, Smith said, "You can get it tricky. The wickets probably will get slower and slower.

Tonight there were a few things. There was quite a lot of dew and it is a bit disappointing on that factor when lot of day-night games are played in this conditions."

"I feel the wickets are probably better prepared for the World Cup proper as coming to those games the wickets will give a lot more tension."

Meanwhile, South Africa's Pakistan-born leg spinner Imran Tahir came in for praise by the rival captains as well as Zimbabwean coach Alan Butcher.

It was not a surprise therefore when Smith and Chigumbura showered accolades on Tahir for his effort of 3/35.

"I have seen quite a lot of Tahir in English county. I know he is a quality bowler. I am sure he will have an impact on the World Cup competition," former England Test batsman Butcher told the media persons.

Expressing satisfaction over Tahir's performance, Smith stated, "The wicket is little bit under-prepared. It was Imran's day. Tahir is naturally a tough guy perhaps he was little bit tense today. He started to be more consistent in length and was more confidence on what he was doing. For me it is nice to see a guy making good use of the opportunity. He gave himself a platform to bowl on now."

Smith also praised the other slow bowlers in the side.

"All our spinners bowled well. There is good competition in the squad. This is a big positive as there are many players who are challenging each other for a place in the XI.


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