West Indies v New Zealand, 1st Test, Kingston, 2nd day June 9, 2014

Benn unimpressed with flat pitch

ESPNcricinfo staff

"Looking back when we started on the first day, we thought we would get more from the pitch, unfortunately that did not happen," Shane Shillingford said

Having toiled for the first two days on the field as New Zealand posted 508, West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn has said his team would not like to see such lifeless pitches being prepared for Test matches. Benn added that he was not in favour of doctoring surfaces to suit home teams, and was only asking for a "proper" Test pitch that had something in it for everyone.

"Personally, no, I don't think my team would like to see pitches of that sort," Benn said. "I am not saying it is not a sporting pitch but it is very flat. Not a lot has happened off the pitch. We played two seamers and two spinners and there was not enough assistance for four bowlers.

"I am not saying they prepare pitches to suit the home team. I am far from saying that. I am just saying that you want something that is going to spin, going to seam (and) you can bat on it as well. That is a proper Test match pitch."

Benn sent down 52 of the 174.3 overs in New Zealand's first innings, something he said was a "rude awakening" in his comeback international game. Offspinner Shane Shillingford bowled 46.3 overs on his West Indies return after undergoing corrective work on his action, and credited New Zealand for having showed the patience that was needed even on a placid surface to build a big score.

"Looking back when we started on the first day, we thought we would get more from the pitch, unfortunately that did not happen," Shillingford said. "Even though the pitch was a flat one, their guys played a patient game. They batted well, and did not take too much risk. This is what you would expect in Test cricket. I thought they handled it well and played well."

Both spinners were confident that the West Indies batsmen would be able to similarly thrive on the pitch like the New Zealanders had. Openers Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell batted out nine overs till stumps on day two and Shillingford said the Jamaican could lead the way in his 100th Test.

"The way he was looking at the ball carefully and selecting his shots I think it is a good opportunity for the big man to get a hundred in his 100th Test," Shillingford said. "We as a batting unit can do the same. We are very much capable of doing the same. They batted for two days, we bat for two days and that is how I see it."

Benn agreed, saying that West Indies' pursuit should be "fairly comfortable" given the nature of the pitch despite the size of New Zealand's score. "Obviously 500 is scoreboard pressure. As you have seen the pitch is fairly easy to bat on - flat as far as I am concerned," Benn said. "We try to get as close to those runs as possible, if not surpass. Some balls kept low but the ball was a bit older at that time. It is hard now and I don't think it will keep low so early in the game.

"We got guys there. Chris wants to do well in his 100th Test match. We got some young guys who need to get some runs under their belt. Everybody is looking to perform with the bat. Being on the field for two days is encouragement enough for you to go there and get some runs."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    These guys excuses are laughable. They are emulating their coach finding excuses every time they perform below expectations. It is now tea time and the New Zealand bowlers are taking advantage of this "flat" pitch. Give Narine and Bissoo an opportunity to bowl on this "flat" and you will see a different result. Come on you guys stop making excuses and perform.

  • Babul on June 10, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Dear Mr Benn, In the 1980's, West Indies used to win everywhere. The pitches didn't matter. These days, West Indies loses everywhere. The pitches do not matter even now. So, please focus on improving your bowling skills and nothing else.

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    All test playing teams prepare pitches to give their teams a sporting chance at winning and provide entertainment for the paying public. The West Indies somehow feels that it is necessary to play host to every other team and create placid pitches.

    Now this does not take away from the fact that the current crop of batsman seem to not be able to translate their form over to Test cricket. Today is the third day of the match and IF West Indies bat to avoid the follow-on then that's the end of the first test match (hopefully).

    It appears that the groundsmen from days gone by died and did not leave the secrets to preparing a great wicket, I keep hoping one day West Indies will find the formula but it just seems to be getting slower and slower and lower and lower!!

  • Arvin on June 10, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    It's lunch on day 3 and the Windies are already 3 wickets down without even a hundred on the board. The Sodhi and Craig are getting excellent bounce and turn on the pitch, so obviously Shillingford and Benn lacks what it takes to be effective as International bowlers. Even Boult and Southee are getting the ball to move off the seam nicely. Only Jerome Taylor and CHRIS GAYLE from the Windies were able to apply pressure on the NZ batsmen.

    We have some excellent under 19 players and its time we cut our losses and give them a shot so they can atleast develop over the years. Powell, Edwards and Bravo are all taken up space, they had their fair bit of chances. Tagenarine, Pascal, Pooran, Cummins need to be groomed in the WIndies team from now if they want to be competitive in by the next 3 years. Also Narine and Dwayne Bravo should be playing in all formats too, they are too good to ignore.

    Lets hope Chanders and Gayle can take us to the close of play!

  • Lee on June 10, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    The pitch is flat without a doubt. The odd ball turning or seaming does not change that.That said, the New Zealanders have batted quite well.Windies problem I think was selecting four bowlers all of whom are on the comeback trail. Roach was bowling in the low 130's. Sammy could have done that!!!

  • Edwin on June 10, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    I must have been watching a different match - Taylor got the ball to swing both ways numerous times, and Benn also beat the bat many times....the 'no-ball wkt' cost WI around 60 runs, as well as a lot of dross bowling.

  • Android on June 10, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    the ball was doing absolutely nothing on day 2, and they put in good effort on day 1. the pitch is very flat and you could tell by just looking at it.

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Err, on day one it was turning and bouncing. Hard to call this pitch flat, it was just really rubbish bowling.

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    now , this is the test for our batting lineup bravo gayle samuels and edwards have to make big scores ,on a placid pitch no excuses . kraigg brathwate blackwood waiting on the wings.

  • Gautham on June 10, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    So much around Chris Gayle's 100th test. Wonder what would have happened had RCB reached the final of the IPL though!

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