The pitch of the first test at Newlands Park, Cape Town was one of the toughest tracks to bat on in the recent times. There was nothing wrong with the pitch, it was finely curated, but the third-day rain let ground staff put pitch undercover for the whole third day up until the start of fourth day’s play.
It let the pitch absorb the moisture which helped in swing and movement of the ball. The fourth day saw 18 wickets fell in day’s play and only 200 runs were scored. However, in an interview with Cricbuzz, curator of Centurion park, Bryan Bloy said how he and his groundsmen do not experiment too much with the pitch. Although he said it will be a fast track for sure, it might lose some of its characteristics as the warm weather is expected for the last two days of the second test.
Not much different from traditional Centurion pitches
When asked about if this pitch is going to be different from the usual Centurion pitches in the past, Bryan said there is nothing extra apart from quick pace and bounce. “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 favor that sort of pitch. So, it makes sense for us to go with what suits us best,” Bryan answered.
Cape Town and Centurion have different conditions
On asked about if things from Cape town could be replicated here in Centurion, Bloy answeres the weather is not the same in two areas of the country. “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,” Bryan told Cricbuzz.
He also added the grass is also of different variety there. So replicating Cape Town is not possible. “It’s totally different climate and different grass, you can’t try and replicate things, it just simply wouldn’t work,” he further added.
The pitch at the Newlands may not be as helpful in lateral movement as it was in Newlands, Cape Town, but it will offer extra pace and extra bounce which is normal for the Centurion Parks pitch.