'This is what it looks like now': BCCI reveals close-up picture of the pitch on which WTC final will be played
- WTC Final, India vs New Zealand: The BCCI on Saturday revealed close-up picture of the pitch, which looks a lot different that it did on Thursday.
The pitch on which the World Test Championship final will be played has garnered a lot of attention. On the eve of Day 1, several images surfaced on social media, indicating the first glimpse of the surface. On expected lines, it looked greenish which hinted at the possibility of the winning captain opting to bowl first, and rightfully so. Overcast conditions aided with a green pitch in England could only be a recipe for disaster.
However, the BCCI on Saturday revealed close-up picture of the pitch, which looks a lot different that it did on Thursday. The greenish appearance has worn off which suggests that a decent amount of grass was possibly been mowed, which means that batting first on this deck wouldn't be a bad idea. Here is what the pitch looked like one hour before the start of the match.
Usually, cricket pitches in England have a decent covering of grass to ensure it is held together properly and it is only on match day that a bit of it is removed. With no play taking place on Friday due to incessant, the pitch remained covered for most part of the day and even when the covers were taken off, it wasn't for long.
Meanwhile, the curator of the pitch Simon Lee had stated that he is looking to prepare a pitch that has pace, bounce and carry, pretty much an ideal advert for Test cricket. With India and New Zealand doing battle for the WTC crown at a neutral venue, there are no favourites. Even thought it is believed that conditions may suit the Kiwis a bit more because England is a lot like New Zealand, nothing can be guaranteed.
"For me personally I just want to get something out that has some pace, bounce and carry in the pitch. It can be a hard thing to do in England as the weather doesn't help us most of the time, but the forecast in the build-up is good with a lot of sun, so we are hopeful that we'll get some pace and a hard pitch without over-rolling it and killing it," Lee had told ESPNCricinfo.
"Pace just makes red-ball cricket exciting, I'm a cricket fan and I want to produce a pitch where the cricket lovers have to watch every ball in case they miss something, be that some class batting or an amazing spell of bowling. A maiden over can be quite exciting if it's a battle of skill between both bowler and batter. So, yeah, if we can get some pace and bounce in the pitch, but not too one-sided towards seam movement, we'll be happy."