Smith hopes for a better pitch in second Test

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> South Africa captain Graeme Smith says the Chennai pitch was loaded against bowlers hoping Ahmedabad would be better.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:16 IST
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Agreeing with the Indian camp's concern that the pitch in the first cricket Test here favoured the batsmen too much, South Africa captain Graeme Smith hoped the next match would be played on a sporting wicket.

"It was a good batting track. Batters of both the teams handled it well and managed to cope with the pitch very well. Obviously, one likes to have a wicket that will allow a little bit more of even contest. I will be happy if the pitch (at Ahmedabad) provides balance between the bat and the ball," he said at the post-match press conference here.

Smith felt Virender Sehwag's superlative triple century took the game away from his side. "It was when Virender (Sehwag) was playing for two days," he said when asked about the phase when the match seemed destined for a draw.

"After we made 540, they needed an incredible innings and Sehwag gave it. He set up the game well. If we had got him out for 200, we might have an opportunity to take a good lead and have a go at the Indians. We learned a few lessons," he said.

Smith said the conditions suited Sehwag's kind of batting well. "There is no swing. Viru in these conditions is one of the best players. Hopefully, our bowlers can do better than him in the next matches."

He was happy with the way his top six batsmen performed in recent Tests. "I am encouraged by Hashim Amla's performance. He played well and hope he will maintain the momentum."

Smith said his team learned a lot on day four of the match. "We changed a few game plans. I also decided to take the new ball and attacked. That seemed to have benefited. Our three seamers bowled well. They will take a lot of confidence in the next matches," he said.

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