Cricket: Extend boundaries and Dunedin is perfect, says Vettori

By David Leggat

Enlarge the size of the boundaries and Dunedin has a premier test venue, says New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.

The University Oval, the subject of intense scrutiny after a 1 1/2 day shambles between Otago and Auckland last month, came up trumps for the Bangladesh test.

A pleasant setting combined with a good pitch - courtesy of a mountain of work by Otago and New Zealand Cricket in the interim - made the venue a success.

"Everything about the whole setup was fantastic, apart from the size of the boundaries," Vettori said. "It was a little bit farcical. They were just too small.

"If you bowled to [Australians] Matthew Hayden or Adam Gilchrist it would be a tough day as a spinner. Aside from that, if they can sort it out I couldn't rate it higher. It can be one of the premier test venues."

There are plans to extend the boundary at the northern end of the oval back about 20m, which would do the trick. Edges flew over the slips for six, although there were only seven in total in the game.

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons woke yesterday, at 148 without loss, fearing the worst but hoping for the best.

His openers, Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique, took their stand to a record 161, but the rest of the batting folded. "We have two openers who can be a world class opening partnership," Siddons said. "But the middle order need to understand that in test cricket you have to be patient."

He's scratching his head over his batsmen. "Nobody looked in trouble until they got out. I just can't get it."

New Zealand will stay in Dunedin until Wednesday morning when they head to Wellington to prepare for the second test.

Offspinner Jeetan Patel is due to join the squad and the selectors are considering whether to bring Mark Gillespie back in.

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