Davis: 'Traditional pitch' for Third Test

Trinidad Express

Thursday, February 12, 1998 [Image]

BRYAN Davis, the Queens Park Oval pitch supervisor, has pledged ``a traditional Trinidad pitch'' for the Third Test between West Indies and England starting tomorrow.

Davis, the former West Indies and Glamorgan batsman who was speaking yesterday between back-to-back Tests at the Oval, rejected criticism of the surface for the Second Test.

West Indies pulled off a heroic three-wicket victory in the second match of the series to go one-up in the rubber with four Tests to play.

``In my estimation, the pitch for the Second Test helped the bowlers too much,'' Davis admitted however.

``It was 65-35 and I believe that a pitch should be 55-45 in favour of batsmen.''

Players were hit approximately 39 times in four days but Davis commented: ``I cannot accept the view of the England captain Michael Atherton who called the pitch poor.

``My whole philosophy is that pitches should be different. That is why the game is such a fascination. No-one, surely, wants all pitches to be built just for batsmen.

``Having said that, I think I can promise we will have a traditional Trinidad wicket for the third match. It will be lively on the first day and it will progressively take more and more spin.

``It will have less grass and I am expecting more consistent bounce. I feel the pitch for the Second Test was too variable in bounce and the amount of lateral movement.

``We soaked the whole square immediately after the Test because we have had a heatwave and in the five days of the (Second) Test the new pitch dried out.

For tomorrow's game West Indies have retained the same 13. And the Caribbean team, seeking to extend their lead, had another vigorous practice session yesterday. And captain Brian Lara, in looking ahead to the next Test, was not keen on changing his line-up.

``With a winning team you don't want to make too many changes. You want to give guys a chance who have not performed very well to come out again and ensure that they make a contribution,'' Lara said.

The defeated England party are still doing postmortems.

And while they could well be unchanged for tomorrow's match, there is a debate among the selectors about using both slow bowlers, off-spinner Robert Croft and left-arm spinner Phil Tufnell, for the first back-to-back Tests on the ground for 22 years.

Source: The Express (Trinidad)

Contributed by CricInfo Management, and reproduced with permission

Date-stamped : 12 Feb1998 - 18:19