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Ashes: Adelaide curator expects traditional batsman's wicket

The Adelaide pitch

Adelaide Oval: Ashes venue has undergone a rebuild since England's last visit

The drop-in pitch which will be used at the Adelaide Oval for this week's second Test will be a traditional batsman's paradise - but will take spin later in the game.

Adelaide traditionally produces a great batting strip, and following a redevelopment of the ground, the curator uses a drop-in pitch.

And curator Damian Hough confirmed that whoever wins the toss should bat.

"We're trying to produce a typical Adelaide Oval pitch, something that is going to be good to bat on and something that will hopefully spin as the game goes on," Hough said.

"We think it's pretty close to what we have had in previous years, it might be a little bit slower this year being brand new, but we think talking to the keeper here in South Australia, Tim Ludeman, he thinks the bounce and carry is pretty close."

The Adelaide Oval re-opened in October and the two Sheffield Shield matches held at the famous ground since have ended in high-scoring draws - 2523 runs were scored with wickets costing around 50 apiece.

"At the end of the day you're just trying to produce a pitch that is a typical Adelaide Oval pitch," Hough added.

"So from our end it's going to take us time to get it exactly where we want it, there's no doubt about it.

"They (drop-in pitches) behave slightly differently, they're reacting differently but it's the same clay we're using, the same grass variety and we keep learning and reviewing what we do and do our best to maintain the characteristics that we're used to here in Adelaide.

"Everyone has just got to realise it's brand new, it absolutely brand new ... and it's going to get better the more we work them and the more we use them."

'Absolute belter'

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon used to work on the groundstaff at the Oval and he knows more about bowling at Adelaide than most.

In the December 2010 Test in which Kevin Pietersen scored a double century, he had a front seat view from the boundary.

"I was sitting on the roller watching the whole time and preparing to put the covers on the last day when England won," Lyon said. "I was cutting the ground every morning so it was a different view and I can't wait to be out there enjoying an Ashes Test match ... Pietersen had a fair crack at us.

"I already went out and saw Damo (Hough) and said hello to the guys.

"It looks like he's produced an absolute belter of a pitch so I can't wait to get out there."

Lyon said spinners - who have taken more wickets than pace men on the wicket this season - have to mix up the way they bowl.

"There's going to be a variety of over and around, there's no doubt about that, (as) it looks like there could be a fair few overs out there for me," he said. "So it's going to be a good opportunity to get a good bowl.''

"It's going to be hard work, there's no point lying about that - it's going to be hard toil. But it's going to be a great challenge. That's what I love about Test match cricket.''

"Test pitches are totally different to Shield pitches. Fingers crossed there'll be some foot marks there and over five days it may break up, who knows? It looks like I'm going to be able to bowl a few overs here and I'm looking forward to that challenge bowling to their batsmen.

"If I can hold up one end and rotate our quicks it's going to hopefully keep their legs as fresh as possible and they can bowl a few fast bumpers again."

Watch the second Ashes Test between Australia and England from Adelaide - coverage starts on Wednesday at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 HD

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