Smith ready for rainy weather, Indian pitches

March 22nd, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, March 22 (IANS) Despite rains having lashed the city and the prospect of tackling experienced Indian spinners on favourable pitches, South Africa captain Graeme Smith is gung-ho about the first cricket Test starting here Wednesday. After arriving with his team here Saturday, Smith told reporters that his team’s recent visits to Pakistan and Bangladesh have helped him and his players get a fair idea about the conditions and pitches in the subcontinent and it would help in the three-Test series.

“We are prepared for an under-prepared Chepauk pitch that will aid spin. Our squad has two good spinners to give India a few worries,” he said, referring to left-armers Paul Harris and Robin Peterson.

On the pitches that his team is likely to confront, Smith said: “Our tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh in the recent past have helped us understand the subcontinent conditions. However, we are not taking the Indians lightly because they are in top form with great recent victories under their belt. But as everyone knows, we are no pushovers.”

India performed well before losing 1-2 the four-Test series in Australia and followed it up with the title win in the Commonwealth Bank Triangular One-day Series.

Smith admitted that tackling Indian bowlers on the slow and turning pitches would test South African batsmen.

“Playing on the subcontinent wickets is a massive challenge and we are ready for the test. It would be an exciting series for us, for a success here would keep us in right frame of mind for our forthcoming tours to Australia and England,” he said.

Rains and cloudy weather have been a concern here for the organisers, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, as weather has affected a few previous international matches played here.

India’s last One-Day International here, for instance, was washed out Nov 22, 2005, resulting in fans demanding their money back and a slew of litigations.

For the match starting Wednesday, even weathermen are keeping their fingers crossed.

“We expect the skies to clear by Tuesday, but do not want anyone to bet on it,” the met office said.

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