The Adelaide Oval curator will seek to juice up what has traditionally been a docile pitch for the second Ashes test between Australia and England next week, meaning batsmen may be in for a torrid opening.
Damian Hough said he would leave grass on the refurbished stadium’s new drop-in pitch to make it more bouncy in the opening days of the match starting on December 5.
“We are planning to have something early. From our end, we are trying to get as much pace and bounce as we can,” Hough said in comments published by Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper on Tuesday.
“We will look at leaving a little grass on it just to assist with making it a competitive wicket.”
Fired by seamer Mitchell Johnson, Australia thrashed England by 381 runs in the first Ashes test as the Gabba wicket in Brisbane maintained its bounce and pace right through the fourth and final day.
The Adelaide Oval has traditionally been batsman-friendly and the drop-in pitch came in for criticism after more than 1,000 runs were scored in a four-day Sheffield Shield match between hosts South Australia and Western Australia two weeks ago.
South Australia captain Johan Botha took encouragement from the performance of the pitch in a match against Tasmania that finished on Monday, but suggested bowlers needed more assistance on the opening two days.
England paceman Stuart Broad, who took eight wickets at Brisbane, said England would look for inspiration in their last batting effort at Adelaide Oval in the 2010-11 series, when they put on 620 runs in the first innings before romping to an innings win.
“Adelaide is a place you need to score big first-innings runs and we’ll be aiming to do what we did last time and we’re very focused on that,” said Broad on Wednesday.
England lost six wickets for nine runs in a 50-minute period after lunch on the second day in Brisbane to be dismissed for 136 in their first innings.
“We let ourselves down after being in a fantastic position in that test match,” Broad added.
“But we have to be honest, we lost that test match with a 50-minute bit of madness before tea on the second day and naturally we’re disappointed in the way that happened.
“We need to make ourselves harder to get out because we know how important big runs are in Australia.”