View Full Version : Slow pitches force hasty World Cup reassessments
March 12, 2007, 11:42 AM
Exactly what I predicted, strange pithces:
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (Reuters) - World Cup team combinations and bookmakers' odds are being hastily reassessed as the 16 teams travel to their respective islands for the opening round starting on Tuesday.
A week of warm-up matches has confirmed that pitches in the West Indies, once the hunting grounds for a conveyor belt of express bowlers, now resemble those on the Indian sub-continent.
"Slow bowlers are going to play a part," Ricky Ponting, the captain of defending champions Australia, told reporters this week. "We just have to look at the makeup of the West Indies' side during the last 12 months.
"They had Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels bowling a lot for them during the middle. That would suggest they are preparing to bowl in a World Cup."
Predictions that the short boundaries would lead to a flurry of big-hitting and, possibly, the first team score in excess of 500, have also been revised with batsmen constantly having to check their shots to counter the slow and sometimes variable bounce...
March 12, 2007, 11:55 AM
well if we had england, new zealand, the west indies or even australia in our group, things would have been easier :)
March 12, 2007, 12:21 PM
Relaid surfaces could assist seamers as well
Andy Roberts expects sporting pitches
March 12, 2007
Andy Roberts, the former West Indies fast bowler who is now a pitch consultant for the World Cup, has predicted that the pitches in the tournament may not necessarily be slow turners, contrary to general expectations. With several pitches being relaid and a few new surfaces being tried out, Roberts expects the pitches to offer enough assistance to both batsmen and bowlers.
"A lot of people will be surprised by the 22 yards on offer," Roberts told The Times of India. "We won't get the slow pitches that people are anticipating."
Roberts, also the chief curator of the Antigua Recreation Ground, cited the India-West Indies practice match at the Trelawny Stadium last week as an example. West Indies were bundled out for just 85 on a pitch which offered plenty of seam movement to the seamers.
"What you will find is a lot of brand new pitches," he said. "For the first game or so they may be slow. That will not be the case right through. At some venues it will have even bounce, some will also have a lot of carry."
Roberts has been busy supervising the preparation of pitches all over the Caribbean for the World Cup, coordinating with Andy Atkinson, the ICC's pitch consultant. When asked for his impression of the relaid wickets, Roberts said that the surfaces in the Kensington Oval in Barbados and the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua were sporting in nature. However, he expressed caution over the new surface in Guyana, given its location in the South American mainland, unlike the other host nations.
"The wicket in Barbados has been playing fairly well in the practice games. There have been lots of runs. The bounce and carry has been good. Antigua too has a new pitch and if it has been prepared according to the specifications then you might see the same thing there.
"The only one I am worried about is Guyana. It doesn't have the same type of clay as other countries. It may surprise us because it is a new pitch."
Pitches in the West Indies have slowed down over the years, offering plenty of assistance to the slower bowlers as India observed last year during their tour. However, he felt that the region had come for some unfair criticism.
"In the Champions Trophy too you had some bad pitches. Most pitches around the world have slowed down."
March 12, 2007, 12:22 PM
I don't care if we had anybody other than SA. They are occupying our rightful spot. (you can say warming it up for us). That is the #1 spot. So if we can't have them I am not missing anyone. bring it on!!!
March 12, 2007, 12:56 PM
That Andy Roberts piece on cricinfo is sorta deceptive.
Andy's saying pitches will be fast with bounce, but may not be so on the first day ! Slow pitches may harden up after the "first day" (Strange ! we are not talking about Test matches here). But they also become lifeless, with no turns.
He is also boasting about some of the pitches, not all of them.
He is comparing his pitches with the worst, the eendian "glue-together" pitches during the champion's trophy. Another big question mark.
Andy is also saying more and more pitches around the world are going from fast to slow ! Why then, is he saying anything about these pitches at all?
All those comments, taken into context, can't paint a picture. Andy's erratic here. I have a feeling, so will be the pitches. On a low bounce, slow pitch, AU, SA and NZ will have to adjust their games. Even Zimbabwe plays better on hard tracks. On their practice match, the Pakis were really struggling with the extra low bounce.
Another sign, this WC has been customized for eendia. It would be so nice if we can show them an early exit.
March 12, 2007, 01:59 PM
The bottom line is- most of those pitches are newly laid, even the curators can't predict how they may act (like our curators could not predict how Mirpur pitches may act in A-team match against Zimbabwe or in premier league matches).
March 12, 2007, 03:27 PM
i don't like tournaments that has pitches that differ dramatically from venue to venue because then the game results tend to be in extremes like one team going for 80 something and the other acieving it in 10 overs. the players never truly adjust to the pitches in the country since they are so different and matches tend to be low scoring. thus a boring tournament. just my 2 cents.
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