New Delhi:Captains of both Diamond Eagles and the New South Wales teams on Friday criticised the newly-laid Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, saying it was far from being an ideal strip for Twenty20 cricket.
Although Eagles captain Boeta Dippenaar accepted that his team did not play their best cricket, he feels the wicket had a role in the South African side's 53-run defeat at the hands of NSW in the opening Group B match of the Champions League.
"We didn't play well, we didn't adapt to the conditions well and I must say the conditions were really tough. The bounce wasn't great, particularly when you are coming from lively South African conditions.
"The wicket wasn't close to what we have played in the three practice games," Dippenar said in the post-match press conference.
Asked whether he was aware that the Kotla pitch was a newly-laid one, the Eagles captain said, "Yeah, we were aware that it was a newly-laid wicket. We knew it will play slow but not as much as it has played today."
The Eagles' bowlers did a decent job of restricting the formidable NSW batting line-up to a modest 144 in the low and slow pitch, but Dippenaar feels his bowlers bowled well in patches and gave 20 runs extra to the NSW.
"120 was a good score in this wicket. Our bowlers at time bowled well and at times they were wayward," he said.
His NSW counterpart Simon Katich, who made a classy 53 today, echoed similar feelings and said playing shots from the onset in such a wicket was difficult.
"We won the toss but we were quite not sure how the wicket was going to play. Initially, it was difficult to play shots but once we got the start, it became easy," the left-hander said.
"To be honest whenever you play Twenty20 cricket wickets are always good, but today it was low and slow." He said once they have put on 144 on the board, they were confident of winning the match.
"After the first six overs we felt 140-150 is a good score in this wicket," Katich said.
The NSW skipper feels with international experience of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Doug Bollinger, Nathan Hauritz and David warner up its rank, the Australian side has a edge over other sides in the cash-rich tournament.
"We do have a lot of international guys in our team but we don't play as much Twenty20 cricket as England does. But to have Lee upfront and Stuart Clark, Doug Bollinger, Nathan Hauritz and David Warner with plenty of plenty of experience behind them it is always an advantage to us.
"We've quite a few options in the bowling department," Katich said.