Smith blasts Chennai wicket


CHENNAI – South African skipper Graeme Smith has criticised the wicket prepared for their World Cup warm-up game against Zimbabwe and called for better tracks during the tournament. The pitch caused worries to Smith despite his team cantering to an eight-wicket win in the day-night game at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. “I don’t think it was a great wicket,” Smith said afterwards.
“It probably suited them (spinners). The wicket probably helped them a little bit being, I think, maybe a bit under-prepared.” South Africa’s frontline spinners Imran Tahir (3-35), Robin Petersen (2-21) and Johan Botha (1-18) benefited as Zimbabwe were bowled out for a paltry 152. Smith called for better tracks once the actual action started in the tournament. South Africa are set to play England in Chennai on March 6. “The wicket was pretty slow and dead,” he said.
“I hope the wickets are better prepared for the World Cup proper as coming to those games the wickets will get a lot more attention.” Smith’s worries may stem from an earlier experience in India during a crucial Test at Kanpur where his side were bowled out for 121 in their second innings, handing India a series-levelling victory.
South Africa open their World Cup campaign with a game against West Indies on February 24 at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi. The World Cup, being co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, begins on February 19 in Dhaka.