Kotla strip is `an unknown factor`, says Smith

Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 20:59 PM IST

New Delhi: All eyes will be on the relaid Feroze Shah Kotla strip when South Africa and West Indies kick off their World Campaign in a Group B encounter here on Thursday.

Proteas skipper Graeme Smith said that from both South Africa and West Indies` point of view, the 22-yard strip is still an unknown factor.

"I think we are all aware of what has happened in Delhi. From our perspective and the West Indies` perspective, it is an unknown factor," he said.

"It`s been relaid, there`s been a few games played on it but it`s an unknown factor for all of us."

The stadium stood disgraced after the fifth and final India-Sri Lanka One-dayer in 2009 was abandoned because of a dangerous pitch, which not only brought about an embarrassing end to the series but also put a question mark over its stature as an international venue.

The track was a virtual minefield as the Sri Lankan batsmen, unlucky to be asked to bat first, fended for life as odd balls reared up alarmingly.

The stadium hosted a few local games, including the 2010 Indian Premier League, after being relaid.

"I think you can see they have made a really big effort out here. The field is looking good, you can see they have put a lot of work into the surface. You got to commend them for that. Let`s hope it all works out tomorrow," Smith said.

Smith is also aware of the dew factor, which plays a part in this part of the world around this time.

"It is disappointing that there is dew around. You don`t want it to play a part in the tournament but it`s going to be a reality. I know they are taking all the measures possible to curb it, spraying the field and stuff but it will probably play a part throughout the tournament."

PTI