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No major lateral movement in Centurion, says curator CricBuzz Live

No major lateral movement in Centurion, says curator CricBuzz Live

PITCH TALK

The pitch at Centurion has always been on the quicker side and will not aid any major lateral movement.The pitch at Centurion has always been on the quicker side and will not aid any major lateral movement. © Cricbuzz

In an interview, Bryan Bloy, the curator at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, mentions how he and his groundsmen don’t tinker with their traditional norms in preparing the wicket. He is confident that the wicket would be at its pacey best, as is the case up in the Highveld but he is also of the opinion that it would deteriorate with some warm weather forecast for the last couple of days of the second Test.

Excerpts:

Is it going to be any different from the usual Centurion track?

It’s very unlikely. The trait of the Highveld is that the pitches are normally a little quicker and normally have a bit more bounce. We will prepare a pitch to our strengths at SuperSport Park, because conditions favour that sort of pitch. So, it makes sense for us to go with what suits us best.

Will there be normal pace and bounce here or will there be something extra?

I don’t imagine there will be anything extra. I mean it’s got to go five days. You can’t risk doing anything that could jeopardise the longevity, or length of the match. So, I expect the pitch to be a little bit slower to start, and then quicken up on Day 2 and Day 3. The forecast is for quite warm weather, so I’m expecting the pitch to deteriorate on Day 4 and Day 5.

So that can bring in one spinner at least into play?

Normally, we don’t take a lot of turn, but as the pitch deteriorates, the guys will get turn. I’m sure they’ll get turn throughout the match, they’re just not going to get big turn. In One-Day and T20 cricket, teams bowl spinners after all. So, we do take some turn but we’re not renowned to take a lot of turn.

You were at Newlands too, how did you go there?

I made contact with Even Flint, the groundsman down there. The two franchises (Titans and Cape Cobras) spoke to one another and made the arrangements and off I went. It was my decision to go, I just wanted to experience Newlands. It’s a different climate. Their rainfall is winter rainfall, so for that match to get rain this time of the year is particularly unusual. But yes, different variety of grass on the wicket, which is something I’m not accustomed to. So I just wanted to go down there and see Evan’s operation. I was very impressed, he runs a tight ship there.

Anything from there that you could implement here?

No no. It’s totally different climate and different grass, you can’t try and replicate things, it just simply wouldn’t work.

How much is the weather playing a part in the preparation?

Hot weather is normal for us here, we’re not experiencing a drought. It’s particularly in the Western Cape where there seems to be a lot of trouble. They didn’t get any rainfall through the winter and now they are in the summer months, the hot months.

This is normal weather here, and it rains in summer in the Highveld.

Traditionally, no lateral movement in Centurion. What about this time?

No major seam movement, possibly a little bit in the morning on Day 1, it will nibble around. But it won’t turn sideways or anything like that.

Looks brown a bit like an Indian pitch. I’m sure it’s not?

No it’s certainly not an Indian pitch. Not at all. The colour won’t affect any of the bounce.

How do you prepare a pitch to be quicker or slower?

I don’t know, I’ve never really tried to prepare a pitch to be slow! In the Highveld, we stick to our strengths, which are pace and bounce. My goal really is to have a good wicket, it’s going to have good pace and good bounce. Nothing out of the ordinary, I’m not going to say it’s going to do something super special. It’s going to be a good wicket with pace and bounce which is the norm in the Highveld.

I have been in the turf industry for the last 15 years.

Updated: January 12, 2018 — 7:57 am
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