Smith not happy with pitch

Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith batting against New Zealand © Getty Images

Captain Graeme Smith criticised the pitch after his South Africa side were easily beaten by New Zealand in their opening ICC Champions Trophy match in Mumbai.

Smith was unhappy with the batting surface prepared at the Brabourne Stadium, upon which his team fell to an 87-run loss, having been bowled out for just 108.

"Batting second was very, very difficult," he said. "It's always tough to sit and moan about a wicket when you've lost, but in terms of an international tournament I don't think the wicket was of a good standard."

Smith had won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat.

“A year ago when we were here at the same time and the wickets played pretty well batting second and obviously dew played a major factor,” he said.

Mark Boucher

Mark Boucher battled hard for South Africa © Getty Images

“The wickets played quite well then. This wicket was going through the top, it was turning almost square.

"In the first two games the sides which batted first really struggled. In those games it seemed like the ball came on better in the second innings.

"Today it was the total opposite. It just deteriorated from 10 overs onwards. The pitch broke up, the ball turned a hell of a lot.

"We're just going to have to read a pitch, go by the gut feeling on the day and stick by that. I don't think the pitches are going to provide a 100 overs of good cricket."

His New Zealand counterpart Stephen Fleming was understandably less dismissive of the pitch, not least because he top-scored in the match with 89.

"The pitches are a bit different this time around, from what we usually experience in India,” he said.

“As the tournament progresses, it is going to be tough on the viewers and in this respect I can understand Graeme's complaints.

“But our job is to play in whatever pitches given to us and play accordingly.”

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