Edgbaston: The pitch at Edgbaston will help the spinners and will also offer reverse swing to the pacers in the third cricket Test between India and England beginning on Wednesday.
The conventional swing at Edgbaston has reduced significantly after the construction of a new eye-catching four-storey 32 million pound pavilion since England played here last 12 months ago.
But the new sand-based outfield has resulted in dry pitches, which will help the spinners to get turns and offers an abrasive surface that provides reverse swing to pacers.
"The ball has always swung at Edgbaston, the difference this year is that the wind swirls around more inside the bowl than it did because the prevailing wind comes from the direction of the new stand," Warwickshire`s director of cricket Ashley Giles, who is also an England selector, said.
"The ball might start to reverse earlier now than in the past as the ground is very dry and abrasive due to the outfield. I think the pitches will generally spin more until we can get the water levels right. Some have turned this year, others haven`t," he said.
The state-of-the-art outfield is similar to Lord`s, Trent Bridge, Chester-le-Street and Headingley.
Steve Rouse, Edgbaston`s head groundsman, feels that getting water levels right will not be a problem. Rouse, a fast bowler for Warwickshire before he became a groundsman, is to retire in the autumn after 17 years in-charge of Edgbaston`s pitches.
"If it doesn`t rain we are watering the outfield every night of the week. The sprinklers go on at 6 p.m., 9 p.m., midnight, 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. right the way through," Rouse said.
"Huge amounts of water are going on there and on the square. Because of the drainage system the moisture gets sucked away from the square and it dries out so much quicker. The old outfield used to retain the moisture in the square more.”
"But it`s something that you have to learn to manage. I`ve spoken to Mick Hunt, the groundsman at Lord`s, and he`s had to double the amount of water he`s had to put on his square because of the slope there and his new outfield," he said.
"It`s like being at the seaside when the tide comes in and it goes straight through the sand."