When you see a cricket match, your purpose is to enjoy the game and see the tussle between the two teams. Both teams make an effort to come out on top in the game and try to win the match. But for that, cricket teams need to access the conditions before the cricket match. They need to read the cricket pitch before the match before taking any decision like to bat first or bowl first.
Today, we will discuss how to read a cricket pitch and what are the factors relating to them.
The captain and the management of a cricket team need to access the cricket pitch well to make the right call. Sometimes a wrong call or a wrong assessment of a pitch cause teams to lose the game. That’s why it is important for the team to read a cricket pitch well.
Types of cricket pitches:
1. Bouncy cricket pitch
A pitch that has a lot of bounce is the kind of pitch where the batters play mostly on the back foot. The bowlers try to use that bounce to good effect and trouble the batters.
It is a two-way sword, if a batter is struggling to play the bounce, it will be difficult for him. But a good bounce will also help the batters who play cut and pull well.
These kinds of cricket pitches are found in Australia and South Africa generally where the bounce is more than the other cricket pitch in the world.
Where the batters find it difficult to score runs. The cricket pitch where the grass covering is in good amount helps the bowlers to seam the ball which troubles the batters. It helps the bowlers to swing and seam if they have that skills.
It also depends on what type of grass it is. Is it lively grass or dead grass? Is the grass green or brown? These factors also play a big role in accessing the cricket pitch.
These kinds of pitches are generally found in England, South Africa, and New Zealand.
3. Dry and dusty
These kinds of cricket pitches are generally found in Asia like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE, etc. This is the cricket pitch where shot-making is difficult as the batters find it difficult to score runs. The ball turns from the pitch and makes the batter’s life difficult. And the batters need to adjust on these pitches according to the turn on that pitch.
4. Slowish and sluggish
These kinds of pitches are difficult for those batters who are shot makers. The ball will not come to bat easily and the batters need to adjust according to the pace of the pitch.
These types of pitches are found anywhere in the world. It depends on the conditions of that place. Whether the ground staff gives the proper water on that pitch. How is the weather? It all depends on those factors.
5. Batting-friendly/ Flat cricket pitch
The cricket pitch where batters enjoy playing. These pitches are flat and the bowlers struggle to get some help. Generally, we saw a high-scoring encounter on those cricket pitches where a lot of runs were scored.
These are not only the pitches found in the world. You can differentiate that according to the conditions that prevail. Sometimes the pitches are flat but kind of slowish. And sometimes the pitches are damp but not a lot of turn on offer.
Factors to consider to read a cricket pitch
1. How much grass is on the wicket
To access the cricket pitch, you have to look at how much grass is on the wicket. Generally, when test cricket is played. The curator wants the grass to stay on the pitch to hold the wicket and take off some grass a day before the game.
2. Moisture on the pitch-
When there is moisture on the wicket, in a test match, teams want to bowl first to make use of the conditions to the fullest. And when the moisture goes off, it will become easier to bat on.
3. The bounce on the cricket pitch-
To access the cricket pitch, you have to see how much bounce on offer on that particular pitch.
According to the bounce of the pitch, the bowlers change their line and length. Like a good length on a bouncer, the pitch is different from the good length of a pitch where the bounce is low.
4. Outfield conditions
The teams need to access the outfield as well. Whether the outfield is dry or the dew makes it difficult for the bowler to grip the ball.
If there is excessive dew on the pitch, the bowlers find it difficult to bowl too.
5. Weather conditions
The weather plays a big role in accessing the cricket pitch. A change in weather changes the whole scenario of a pitch.
In England, the teams saw the pitch conditions as well as overhead conditions to decide whether to bowl first or bat first.
6. History of that cricket pitch
The teams have analysts who saw the history of the cricket pitch. What is the par score? Whether the dew will play the role? At what time does the wicket play the best? These factors have to keep in mind while reading about a cricket pitch.
7. Cracks and footmarks on the cricket pitch
In a test match, as the game progresses, there are some cracks or a footmark which helps the spinners on day 4 or 5. The team considers this to make a decision and it is very important to read a pitch.
In how much time the pitch will deteriorate is one of the biggest factors in this regard.
These are the few factors that we discussed to read a cricket pitch. Hope you find it helpful.
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