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South Africa vs India 2018: Centurion curator flown in by CSA to prepare seaming pitch for Cape Town Test

Reports claim that Cape Town groundsmen are struggling to prepare the kind of pitch the team desire for the Test.

News 04 Jan 2018, 11:32 IST
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2018 SA v India: South African national cricket team training session

Ahead of the first Test between India and South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town that will commence on January 5, Cricket South Africa (CSA) made last minute efforts, flying in SuperSports Park curator Bryan Bloy from Centurion to assist Newlands curator Evan Flint in preparing the wicket.

SuperSport Park is considered to have one of the liveliest wickets in South Africa, and the man behind that is their chief curator, Bloy.

Speaking to CricketNext, a CSA official said that the idea was to create a wicket that has sideways movement rather than just a fast deck, as it is one of the areas where the Indian team has failed to adapt to on overseas tours.

“The boys don’t just want a fast wicket, they also want seam movement. The idea is to work on South Africa’s strength and India’s weakness. Bloy was flown in to assist Flint in his preparations. I would like to believe this is how modern-day cricket works with home teams playing to their strength. Remember the 2015 series between these two teams in India?” he smiled.

There had been reports that the Cape Town groundsmen, led by Flint, are struggling to prepare the kind of wicket the South African team management wanted due to a drought in that part of the world. Locals have been asked not to use more than 87 litres of water each per day.

"With the pitch, we've been able to carry on watering it as usual every day with borehole water. But the outfield, we've only watered it twice a week so it's a little bit drier and maybe not as lush as we would like it. The challenge is that we need to leave live grass on the wicket, thin grass, so that there is pace, but we want to make sure the ball doesn't grip and turn. Ideally, what we need is a little bit of rain in the morning and then sun in the afternoon and I don't know how many days we will get that for," Flint said a coiuple of days ago.

This move is a master stroke by the Proteas as there is nothing wrong in making use of the home advantage. Virat Kohli and co. will have their task cut out when they take the field in the first Test.

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