Captains blame pitch for drawn first Test

March 30th, 2008 - 6:46 pm ICT by admin  

By Anand Philar
Chennai, March 30 (IANS) The conditions, both weather and the pitch, undid the best of plans laid by South Africa and India resulting in the first cricket Test ending in a tame draw, rival captains Graeme Smith and Anil Kumble said Sunday. Smith paid rich tributes to Virender Sehwag whose whirlwind 319 he felt took the game away from South Africa, but asserted that his bowlers could have been a bit more disciplined.

“We have got some really good cricket under our belt over the last five days. Our batsmen had a good Test match. I was pretty comfortable with the way we bowled. Obviously Virender Sehwag played a tremendous knock.”

“Our bowlers have an immense amount of talent and they’re learning to bowl in different conditions around the world. There are a lot of positives from this Test match and hopefully if we will get into a good position in Ahmedabad, where we can be a bit more ruthless,” he said.

On his part, Kumble felt that the conditions were rather tough and the pitch did not really break up over the last two days contrary to expectations.

“The way Viru batted, he not only batted sessions, he also did most of the scoring. The conditions were very tough for the bowlers with the flat wicket and the heat.

“We expected the wicket to deteriorate and thought there would be a bit more pace but I think the rain in the last week hampered preparations. The South African batsmen batted extremely well and we have to sit down and plan,” he summed up.

Sehwag, looking back at his triple century, said: “It was a good Test for me but unfortunately we couldn’t win the match. However, we are happy with our performances. I never planned to play like that. I decided to bat the full day to make best use of this track.

“Jaffer and I started well and we capitalised on that. Dravid also contributed a lot. I was very tired at the end of the day and I thought I would go after the bowling but Dravid spoke to me and said that if you stay till the end of the day then you can come back tomorrow and score more.”

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