Indian Cricket team had a great beginning in New Zealand with a 5-0 clean sweep in the T20 series. What followed was a reversal of fortune and India lost one-day series 0-3. Now the images of the pitch for the first test between India and New Zealand are worrying the Indian cricket fans.
While India is ready to forget the ODI debacle behind and continue their winning streak in the longest format. They will take on New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series in Wellington.
Most test nations prepare a pitch that aids them in the longer format of the game and the Kiwi pitches are historically known to aid seam bowlers more than spinners.
But the picture of the pitch shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the eve of the first day’s play has left fans worried. It has taken the pitch preparation aiding fast bowlers to the next level altogether.
Grass on New Zealand pitches
As far as Test matches go, it is a known fact that the Basin Reserve pitch in Wellington has always had grass on it.
It was also reported that it would be a drop-in pitch that wouldn’t incur as much wear and tear as other pitches do in Test matches.
As far as the image of the pitch shared by the BCCI is concerned, there seems to be a lot more grass on the wicket than what was initially expected.
There is still a possibility that the grass will be trimmed down before the actual test match play begins, but if that doesn’t happen – fast bowlers may just enjoy the most.
Here’s how fans reacted to the picture of the pitch:
Fan searching for a pitch in grass
Shami looks all ready to devour all batsmen
Getting a test of our own medicine?
Why pitches with grass cover help fast bowlers?
The grass attracts moisture which is needed for swing bowling. Thus green pitches always favor swing bowling/fast bowling as the ball will deviate off the pitch and in the air as well due to the cool climate where such pitches are found like New Zealand.
These foreign pitches are difficult for not only Indians but any others because they haven’t played very often on such surfaces.
Indian team doesn’t get to play on fast and seaming tracks in India as there are literally no such tracks in India. A lack of practice on such pitches is the reason India’s test record on fast pitches has not been very good.
What will the team strategy on such a green pitch?
Whichever team wins the toss on Friday would definitely look to field first on the surface as the pitch is expected to get better for the batters as the match progresses.
Making most of the early advantage through seamers will be key for both the teams. The key is to get the team batting first out early and take a huge early advantage. This can, however, work both ways, as the current Indian team has some of the best fast following attacks in the world.
While it has been understood that New Zealand will approach the game with four fast bowlers, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had all but confirmed that he is going to opt for a different strategy.
Kohli is more likely to have one out-and-out spinner in the team alongside three pacers, who are likely to Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah.