SA vs IND, 1st Test: First Look Of Centurion Pitch Reveals Hint Of Grass, Curator Says 'Might Be Tricky To Bat First' Amid Rain Threat

SA vs IND, 1st Test: First Look Of Centurion Pitch Reveals Hint Of Grass, Curator Says 'Might Be Tricky To Bat First' Amid Rain Threat

The Centurion curator said that there is little possibility of play on opening day and better part of second day and due to heavy rain, there will be drop in temperature and spinners are unlikely to get much help.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, December 23, 2023, 06:20 PM IST
article-image

The batters could be in for some challenging times with the Supersport Park track expected to aid the fast bowlers as rain threat looms large over the opening Test between India and South Africa, curator Bryan Bloy said on Saturday.

Rain threats looms over 1st Test

The Centurion curator said that there is little possibility of play on opening day and better part of second day and due to heavy rain, there will be drop in temperature and spinners are unlikely to get much help.

"Temperature will be super low, like 20 degrees. The temperature is now 34 and it will drop to 20. I don't know what conditions will be like, whether we will get play on Day 1," Bloy told PTI after his regular inspection of work.

"Hopefully we will get some play and it will be cool on Day 3 and I don't know how much turn will be available."

The opening Test begins on December 26.

Bowlers likely to benefit from conditions and pitch

Bloy said that if track remains under cover, batting first will be a tough ask.

"I can't guarantee the forecast but if it remains under cover for the better part of the two days then that might be tricky to bat first, because its been covered for so long and hasn't been rolled for so long, we don't know how long we will have to get the field ready for play in current situation.

"So if it's a Day-3, 10 am start, it doesn't give us much time, because it's in the morning and you start playing at 10 and really three hours of cool weather and early morning will be tricky. If its covered for two days, I would presume bowlers would benefit from it."

Light covering of grass on pitch

For Bloy, the idea is to prepare a typical Centurion wicket.

"Our goal is to stick to the characteristics, not do anything different or out of the ordinary. I want it to be typical hard wicket as per Centurion's conditions.

"The wicket is quite green and we have got two more days and its hot, with a bit more rolling, it would lose a bit more colour, but I am happy that there is a thin even coverage of grass. Looks good."

Surface likely to offer less turn and more bounce

However, there could be some bad news for Ravichandran Ashwin as Bloy isn't sure how much purchase spinners would get in case of rain.

"That will be tricky, because you are seeing a forecast on Day 1 and Day 2. It looks awful. The sun is out for four days and so there will be some purchase for spinners, offer turn and bounce, with weather forecast, I don't know how accurate it will be as there will be lot of rain."

So what's a typical Centurion track?

"A typical Supersport Park wicket is slower on Day 1, little bit softer and as time goes by it gets a bit quicker and it gets variable.

"For me, fourth day afternoon finish would always be fantastic but that's out of my control. We prepare the stage and players will have to come out and put the show," Bloy replied.

No interference from playing teams

In the past, there have been reports of Indian team management's interference in curator's work but Bloy, who was actually a golf course curator, having studied turf management, never faced such issues.

"There is very little communication with the Proteas. You prepare as per characteristics of Supersport wicket and we know what to expect. I don't get a lot of interference there and I think they just leave us to prepare good wicket," he said.

In Highveld region (Centurion belongs to Gauteng province), there is more clay content (red soil) unlike other parts of South Africa where black soil is used for pitches.

"In our part of the world, its mostly black soil but in Highveld region the clay content is higher than coastal region and though its different from Wanderers, these 2 are higher clay content, which ensures more bounce for sure but it also produces more cracks."

RECENT STORIES

‘Garden Mein Ghumo Mat Nahin Toh’: Rohit Sharma Repeats His Famous Line From ENG Test Series...

‘Garden Mein Ghumo Mat Nahin Toh’: Rohit Sharma Repeats His Famous Line From ENG Test Series...

'He Is Not Admitting It': Simon Doull Accuses MI Skipper Hardik Pandya Of Hiding An Injury Amid IPL...

'He Is Not Admitting It': Simon Doull Accuses MI Skipper Hardik Pandya Of Hiding An Injury Amid IPL...

'Khaane De Na Mere Ko': Virat Kohli Snubs His Strict Fitness Regime As Hilarious Video Goes Viral

'Khaane De Na Mere Ko': Virat Kohli Snubs His Strict Fitness Regime As Hilarious Video Goes Viral

'It Was A Total Of ₹64,000': CSK Fan Purchases Tickets On Black To Watch MS Dhoni But Is Yet To...

'It Was A Total Of ₹64,000': CSK Fan Purchases Tickets On Black To Watch MS Dhoni But Is Yet To...

'He Should Get Fined': Adam Gilchrist Hits Out At Rishabh Pant For Arguing With Umpire In LSG vs DC...

'He Should Get Fined': Adam Gilchrist Hits Out At Rishabh Pant For Arguing With Umpire In LSG vs DC...