After the Indian batsmen encountered seam and swing in Cape Town, the Centurion pitch is expected to have pace and bounce very much the nature of the 22 yards. Indian batsmen are better qualified to play pace bowling will have to counter the bounce at Centurion as the second Test match which is a must win for them to stay in the series gets started.
Bryan Bloy, the curator of SuperSport Park in Centurion, wanted to get a first-hand view and feel of how Evan Flint, the Newlands curator, went about preparing his ground for a Test, and thus made the trip from Highveld to the Western Cape.
“I made contact with Evan Flint. The two franchises (Titans and Cape Cobras) spoke to one another and made the arrangements and off I went,” Bloy told Wisden India on Thursday (January 11). “It was my decision to go, I just wanted to experience Newlands. It’s a different climate. Their rainfall is winter rainfall, so for that match to get rain this time of the year is particularly unusual. But yes, different variety of grass on the wicket, which is something I’m not accustomed to. I just wanted to go down there and see Evan’s operation. I was very impressed, he runs a tight ship there.”
“The trait of the Highveld is that the pitches are normally a little quicker and normally have a bit more bounce,”. We will prepare a pitch to our strength at SuperSport Park because conditions favor that sort of pitch. It makes sense for us to go with what suits us best. No major seam movement, possibly a little bit in the morning on day one it will nibble around. But it won’t turn sideways or anything like that" the Centurion curator went on to add further.
“Normally we don’t take a lot of turn, but as the pitch deteriorates, the guys will get turn. I’m sure they’ll get turn throughout the match, they’re just not going to get big turn. In one-day and T20 cricket, teams bowl spinners after all. So we do take some turn" said Bloy when asked about if the pitch will offer any spin.
Pacers from both the teams have had a good practice so far and if Bloy's words are to be considered the Centurion strip will have consistent bounce throughout the duration of the Test match.
“I don’t know how to make a pitch slower, I’ve never really tried to prepare a pitch to be slow! In the Highveld, we stick to our strengths, which are pace and bounce. My goal really is to have a good wicket, it’s going to have good pace and good bounce. Nothing out of the ordinary, I’m not going to say it’s going to do something super special. It’s going to be a good wicket with pace and bounce, which is the norm in the Highveld" concluded Bloy.