Pitch report: Beausejour Cricket Ground, St Lucia

Bangladesh

The first three Test matches here all ended in draws, and the last match before the hiatus, in 2006, saw Brian Lara score one of his slowest centuries. The deck was flat and full of runs, so it remains to be seen how it's changed.

<b>Established</b>: 2002<br><b>Capacity</b>: 15 000<br><b>Floodlights</b>: Yes<br><b>Ends</b>: Pavilion End, Media Centre End<br><b>Home Team</b>: St Lucia<br><b>Test History</b>: 3 Tests (3 draws)<br><b>Last three tosses</b>: Batting first: 3 (3 draws)

<b>Overview</b><br> One of the newer grounds in the West Indies, this venue was built in the touristy are of Rodney Bay at Gros Islet. It hosted its first Test in 2003, but was not used for eight years after 2006.

The first three Test matches here all ended in draws, and the last match before the hiatus, in 2006, saw Brian Lara score one of his slowest centuries. The deck was flat and full of runs, so it remains to be seen how it's changed.

The ground made its ODI debut the year it was built, but the Windies never had much luck there. In 11 ODIs since 2008, the Windies won just one game. The ground was a major venue for the 2010 World Twenty20.

<b>Last Time Out</b><br>The most recent Test here was in 2006, where the West Indies and India played to a draw, with the fourth day completely lost to rain and the deck playing flat and easy.

India won the toss and chose to bat first, and scores a whopping 361 runs on day one alone, with Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag scoring big centuries. They were two of four tons in the game, with Brian Lara and Mohammad Kaif getting the others.

India's first dig ended on 588 for eight declared. The India bowlers then did a great job of removing the hosts for 215, with the spinners doing the job with the ball. The Windies thus had to follow on.

Lara then made a painfully slow 120, off 307 balls, but it was vital as it ensured the draw, thanks to rain removing an entire day's play. Shiv Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo also chipped in with valuable time-eating knocks.

<b>They Said</b><br> Brian Lara laments the slow pitch: "We've got home advantage. I'm not asking for anything that's going to raise your eyebrow. I'm just asking for a pitch that a fast bowler is going to enjoy."

He also said: "In this particular match, after the first two days, it was difficult for us to do anything. The pitch was dusting already, the spinners were coming in – it didn't spin or bounce but it was tough to score."

India skipper Rahul Dravid: "We managed to get 17 wickets on a track which was very slow and afforded only slow spin. It wasn't easy, for the edges were not carrying. I knew the spinners would bowl more overs. To get so close to a result in four days was creditable. There were limited ways you could get batsmen out on this track."

<b>Happy Hunting Ground</b><br>Only two players have featured in all three Tests here to date: Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, the top two run getters. The latter should have been available for this game, but pulled out for personal reasons this week.

Otherwise, Shiv Chanderpaul is the best current player on display, with 91 runs in two matches, which isn't overly impressive. He is in good form though, and probably the Windies' key batsman with Gayle gone.

Bangladesh have played one Test here, in 2004, so they don't have anyone on either the batting or the bowling list. The home bowlers don't have anyone to boast about either, with Gayle their best current wicket-taker too, with five scalps.

<b>Weather Forecast</b><br>Day one is forecast to have some rain in the afternoon, but the rest of the game is set to be clear.

<b>Conclusion</b><br>With the Windies leading the series one-nil, and little info available about this ground other than the deck is not one for fast bowling, one imagines the Windies spinners will do well. But if the Tigers' batsmen can bed down and focus, they too can add a draw to the records, or heaven forfend, a win! But we imagine spin will be key here, and the Bangladesh attack is without their two best tweakers.

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