Smith wants more life in Barbados
Graeme Smith is hoping the pitch in Barbados offers more than the dull surface in St Kitts following a dozy draw in the second Test. South Africa declared after tea at 235 for 3 to end a match containing only three innings, including scores of 543 for 6 declared and 546.
"This was not an exciting surface on which to play Test cricket," Smith said. "We were all looking for a good, even battle between bat and ball. Hopefully, Barbados will have a little bit more in the pitch, and it will be more of a fair challenge for both sides."
The match drifted terminally on the fourth morning when West Indies added only 39 runs for the opening session. Smith was surprised the hosts didn't push on in an effort to level the series at 1-1.
"Our tactics [on the fourth day] were that West Indies had batted themselves into a position, and being 0-1 down, we felt they had an opportunity to make a play," he said. "They didn't make the play, and they were defensive, which played into our hands, so we had to bat out today, and we head to Barbados still up 1-0."
However, Chris Gayle said he was "very happy with the result". "Our batting has been struggling, and to get over 500 runs is a great achievement," he said. "We must commend the guys for the way they batted. Shiv [Chanderpaul] and [Brendan] Nash getting hundreds was always going to be good for us."
The main thing Gayle took out of the match was the side's better batting performance in the first innings, even including the period on the fourth morning. "I am satisfied because our plan was to bat out the day, and when you looked at the way they bowled at us it was always going to be difficult for us to score," he said. "So we just tried to bat as many overs as possible." The final Test begins at Kensington Oval on Saturday.