Centurion: What are the chances of India getting a pitch that will ensure the second Test extends to the fifth day here at Centurion? Pretty much possible, if one were to go by the words of chief groundsman at SuperSport Park â€“ Bryan Bloy.
After having witnessed the Indian batsmen fall like a house of cards in Cape Town, talks have been rife that the template to prepare the pitches for the rest of the series was going to be the same. Bloy, however, feels he can’t risk a big Test like this ending in three days again.
“I don’t imagine there will be anything extra,” said Bloy, taking time off his preparation on Thursday. “I mean it’s got to go five days. You can’t risk doing anything that could jeopardise the longevity, or length of the match. So, I expect the pitch to be a little bit slower to start, and then quicken up on Day 2 and Day 3. The forecast is for quite warm weather, so I’m expecting the pitch to deteriorate on Day 4 and Day 5,” he observed.
While Bloy felt there won’t be any “major seam movement,” he made it clear that the pitch will complement what has been South Africa’s strength which is their pace bowling.
“It’s very unlikely,” said Bloy when asked if the pitch will have extra pace and bounce. “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 favour that sort of pitch. So, it makes sense for us to go with what suits us the best.”
Unlike in Cape Town, the pitch here has a lot less grass cover on it with brownish look quite pronounced â€“ more like at Green Park in Kanpur than SuperSport Park here, if you like. But don’t be deceived by the appearance.
“I’ve never really tried to prepare a pitch to be slow,” insisted Bloy. “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.”