Centurion pitch will have a bit of bounce: Curator

Cape Town: South Africa have told the groundsman at Supersport Park at Centurion to leave some grass on the pitch to have a bit of bounce for the first Test against India starting on December 16, a report said.

Supersport Park groundsman Hilbert Smith said he is heeding to what had been told to him but it depends on weather conditions in the next few days, though overcast conditions have been forecast in the run-up to the match.

"I`ve been told to leave some grass on it, so there will be bounce. I`ve rolled some grass into the base for that," Hilbert Smith, the groundsman at Supersport Park, said.

"It will have just a bit of bounce. But everything depends on the weather. If it stays hot, somewhere in the region of 34 degrees Celsius and the pitch dries out, then it will flatten out totally and then we will have a problem because we need some moisture to get bounce," he said.

Smith, however, ruled out preparing a green-top pitch as he fears that it will generate too much bounce and movement leading to the match ending prematurely.

"If I leave too much grass on the pitch, there will be too much movement and then the match could be over in three days and we don`t want that. If it ends in four days, that will be fine, but ideally, I would like it to go the full five days," Smith told a cricket website.

Smith has also been told to leave no room for turn, all but negating the role of the spinner, who will, particularly in the case of someone like Paul Harris, be used to contain.

Former South African spinner Paul Adams, however, said bounce alone may be enough to excite the slow bowlers, particularly tall ones like Harris and Harbhajan Singh.

"Spinners just need the bounce to be able to deceive the batsmen," he said.

Smith said he has "done most of the Test pitch already" though he lost a couple of days due to the domestic MTN40 final yesterday.

"There will be a little bit of wear and tear on the Test pitch (because of the MTN40 final) and the grass may come out a bit because of its position," Smith said.

The pitch to be used for the December 16-20 Test is adjacent to the one used during the MTN40 final match.

Although the mercury has risen above 30 degrees Celsius for the past few days, but it has rained on three days also. Rain is forecast tomorrow and Monday while clearing on Tuesday and returning on Wednesday night. Thursday, the first day of the Test, is also expected to be overcast and wet.


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