Adelaide Test shows AFL footy and drop-in pitches have a lot to answer for

webnexttech | Adelaide Test shows AFL footy and drop-in pitches have a lot to answer for

Test pitches need to evolve over five days (or three or four on current trends); grass needs to wither; clay dehydrate; spikes need to rough and gouge; bounce declines; spin advances; batters and bowlers need to be adaptable and flexible.The best players are the best players in all circumstances, whether that be dealing with scoreboard pressure or a deteriorating surface or facing spin or blunting the new ball.
Cricket changes; football wants, nay demands, an unchanging scenario.
The Adelaide Test pitch was a graphic illustration of how football changes cricket.
Once the three certainties of life were “death, taxes and a hundred at Adelaide Oval”, such was the reliability of the centre.
The pitch started hard and true, grassy but rolled into a shine.
You did not send the opposition in because the pitch was perfect to bat on for a coupe of days and then began the descent to spin, widening footmarks and unreliable bounce.
You did not want to bat last unless the target was small.
Aussie skipper Pat Cummins spied green, long 12 millimetre grass on the drop-in and immediately asked the Windies to bat.
One of the rare times that has happened in an Adelaide Test was when Bob Willis completely misread the previous evening’s light mist spray in 1982: “To seal the surface,” said curator Les Burdett.
Greg Chappell lost the toss, but still got to bat first.
The emotions in the dressing room at hearing Tony Greig ask the rhetorical question, “Well, Bob, what are you doing?” changed from resignation at the prospect of a long 35-degree day in the field to incomprehension.

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