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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Smith slams Chepauk wicket as 'under-prepared'

Smith slams Chepauk wicket as 'under-prepared'

February 12, 2011 22:52 IST

Rival captains Graeme Smith and Elton Chigumbura termed the wicket at the Chepauk as "under-prepared" and hoped that the wickets will be better prepared in time for the World Cup.

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

Explaining the conditions on Saturday, Smith said, "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 considering there'll be a lot of day-night games played in these conditions."

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

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

It was not a surprise therefore when South African captain Graeme Smith and rival captain Elton 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 said.

Expressing happiness 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 confident about 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.

"We have options and it all boils down to how we are going to select the XI based on the type of wickets that we would be playing on. We cannot play everybody and it is more difficult to pick the right combinations," Smith said when questioned on what will be his likely XI for the tournament.

When asked about the chase, Smith said, "It was a good wicket to bat on against spinners but it was rather slow. I feel it will not be a tricky situation during the World Cup."

Talking about experienced all-rounder, Jacques Kallis not having bowled during the match, Smith said, "As I had said earlier, we do not want to slide back to the player he was a couple of weeks ago. We considered that we must bring him in slowly. We still need to preserve him for bowling as we need him for another six weeks."

Meanwhile, Chigumbura said they had a good start through Brendan Taylor, who played well.

"Today we were expecting some turn from the wicket. But it wasn't turning. So we ended playing the wrong line. I am sure guys will adapt quickly," he said.

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