7 Best grounds for batting
- In cricket, the ground and pitch have a big impact on how batsmen or bowlers fare. Here are the best places to score big
The drastic change in playing conditions, from the size of the boundary to the pitch and the speed of the outfield, is one of cricket's most unique aspects. These conditions naturally change over history as well.
St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, for example, was historically a safe haven for bowlers. In the early 19th century, 200 was a good score, with George Lohmann even taking 8/7 on one occasion. The pitches have changed since then and St George's Park is now more friendly to batsmen.
However, the ground's transformation has been a gradual one. More jarring is the change in Melbourne Cricket Ground. It is one of several stadiums in Australia to have moved to drop-in pitches, ensuring the ground remains usable for Australian Rules Football in the winter.
These drop-in pitches have seen Australian grounds robbed of its pace and bounce. Melbourne not only had these typical Australian attributes, but also often provided bowlers with swing, making the early stages of an innings tense for batting sides. This was seen in the 2010/11 Ashes, as James Anderson and Chris Tremlett ripped through Australia with a fine display of swing bowling, dismissing the home side for just 98.
So the grounds that have been the most favourable to batsmen through history are not necessarily the grounds that are most suited for batting today. However, this list takes all three formats into account, ensuring that venues' more recent conditions still hold plenty of relevance.