SA in West Indies

Friendly pitches killing Tests

2010-06-23 22:52
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg

Cape Town – Cricket bosses have been looking for ways of rescuing Test cricket for some time.

However, if more Tests are played on wickets like the one in Basseterre, Test cricket’s obituary can be written now.

The second Test between the West Indies and South Africa saw 1324 runs scored for the loss of just 19 wickets and it was clear by the end of the third day’s play that a draw would be the only outcome.

In the previous Test played at Basseterre in 2006, the Windies and India posted 1241 runs for the loss of 26 wickets.

South African captain Graeme Smith expressed the wish that pitches would be prepared that lend more assistance to the bowlers.

“It was not a good surface to play Test cricket on. We’re all looking for a pitch that will result in a good contest between bat and ball. Hopefully the wicket in Barbados (where the third and final Test starts on Saturday), will lend the teams more assistance,” said Smith.

The Windies, who are trailing the series 0-1, also showed little ambition to win after the Proteas posted a huge first innings total.

The cricket committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) have made suggestions over the last few years about how to rescue the oldest and most important version of the game in a world where Twenty20 has started ruling.

That is how the idea of a Test championship came about.

The ICC are very quick to intervene when a pitch lends too much assistance to bowlers and is considered dangerous.

It is high time the same steps are taken when the wickets are too easy to bat on.

Such pitches may not be a threat to the safety of batsmen, but certainly are to the future of Test cricket.

Read more on:    graeme smith
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