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Bat first call in Hobart

By AAP .
13 December 2012 01:13PM EST

BELLERIVE curator Marcus Pamplin says he would bat first on the most talked about pitch in Australian cricket.

He is under pressure to produce a wicket that will help ensure the First Test between Australia and Sri Lanka goes the distance.

Sheffield Shield teams have been skittled for sub-200 scores in six of 10 innings this season, but Pamplin says the relaid strip was settling down.

"I would bat first," Pamplin told reporters on the eve of the Test.

"I think it's slightly leaning towards a batting deck.

"Depending on the overhead conditions, it will probably swing more than seam."

Pamplin said criticism of the surface had been unfair after he battled wintry conditions to get it ready for early-season Shield cricket.

He said Tasmanian coach Tim Coyle and WA boss Justin Langer, whose side made a first-innings total of 67 in the most recent Hobart match, had both blasted their batsmen for their performances at Bellerive rather than the strip.

"If there was more note taken of all the coaches and their remarks about the pitches," Pamplin said.

"I reckon (the criticism's) pretty unfair."

Pamplin said he expected a good batting deck for day one to day three before the pitch kept lower.

He said the early pitches had been affected by Hobart's late spring.

"Earlier in the year, we were having games where it was only 15 degrees and there was snow on the mountain (Mt Wellington)," he said.

Pamplin said the lack of time after North Melbourne had played two AFL games at the venue had been less than ideal.

"We've done an amazing job to get this up and going from August," he said.

Overcast conditions and some rain are forecast for Hobart during the first Test.

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