• Expect pace, bounce and a bit of turn

    Faf du Plessis
    Faf du Plessis edges behind in the first Test at Newlands

    Bryan Bloy, the curator of the SuperSport Park, is expecting the normal highveld pace and bounce, but he will not be putting in anything extra to benefit South Africa’s bowlers.

    He is acutely mindful of the fact that the match should go five days.

    ‘You can’t risk doing anything that could jeopardise the longevity, or length of the match,’ he said. ‘I don’t imagine there will be anything extra. So I expect the pitch to be a little bit slower to start, and then quicken up on day two and day three.’

    The forecast is for quite warm weather, so Bloy believes the pitch will deteriorate on day four and day five.

    ‘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.

    ‘The trait of the highveld is that the pitches are normally a little quicker and normally have a bit more bounce,’ said Bloy. ‘We will prepare a pitch to our strength at SuperSport Park, because conditions favour 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 Indian bowlers, though, believe they too will benefit from the pace and bounce.

    Jasprit Bumrah told reporters that India had fallen into the trap of bowling ‘Indian lengths’ in the first innings at Newlands, but once they had analysed their performance, they changed their approach for the second innings, which saw South Africa bundled out for 130.

    ‘In the first innings we thought we bowled a little fuller than the normal because in India the wickets are different where we have to pitch fuller to get the swing and to get the batsmen on the front foot,’ he said. ‘Over here there is bounce, there is a little bit of difference. We analysed that and tried to adapt in the second innings, and as a unit we were able to create pressure. Hopefully, we will see videos of these wickets [in Centurion], what happens over here and we plan according to it.’

    Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

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