The representation story: Beauty & a beast

A magnanimous use of a complicated roller, with a rather parsimonious trace of H2O can make a representation a batting paradise. A magnanimous use of a complicated roller, with a rather parsimonious trace of H2O can make a representation a batting paradise. (File photo)

Doctored pitches are behind in news generally after a grassy wicket constructed in Hamilton for a second Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand set to start on Friday. This has come on a behind of a argumentative Nagpur Test played on a sandpit where South Africans were buried.

Unsurprisingly, this is branch out to be a age where many teams do good during home and generally remove away. And pitches have played a partial in exposing visiting batsmen’s ability sets. The Sri Lankan manager Jerome Jayaratne was of a opinion that Hamilton lane had 18mm of weed on it on Thursday. That is some critical layering of grass, and no consternation a lane was undistinguishable from a rest of a square.

How easy is it to ready a customised pitch? Is it such an systematic art that one can even ready a wicket that suits off-spinners some-more than leg-spinner to fit your team’s strengths? The Indian curators, that The Indian Express spoke to, reckon it can be done. Here are several kinds of marks and a ways in that it can be prepared. It mostly pertains to Indian conditions, and a form of dirt accessible here.


(Also read: Underprepared or undone; or best, a representation during Nagpur)
Generally systematic for by a captain, who substantially doesn’t utterly trust his spinners to run by a antithesis yet continuous unconnected help; even if it means that his possess batsmen get held in a dangerous diversion of Russian roulette when it’s their time to face a music. Also in high direct during a final spin of a Ranji Trophy joining encounters.

How it’s made: To start with, use preferably a used wicket — one that has had a compare played on it recently. Cut off a H2O supply to a representation 4 or 5 days out from a opening day of a Test match, withdrawal it dry and parched. But keep rolling it with a light drum — a 500 kg or 250 kg one, preferably. The rolling will safeguard that a cracks dilate and a dirt is loosened. You will see dirt drifting off a aspect when a round lands on it really early on Day One, and a round will misbehave off a cracks.

Some curators also try and give these silt pits an pretended face lift by adding some volume of passed weed that is cut from a circuitously block or sawdust and rolling it on to a surface. But it’s doubtful to connect a representation together for some-more than half-a-day. And all it takes for a sawdust to disappear — if a round hasn’t already taken caring of it — is for one house-keeping event from a ground-staff where they brush a aspect to get absolved of debris.


A normal transport that has existed in India for years, and that captains go for when they feel a need for a self-evident home advantage.

RECIPE: The credentials stays flattering normal for a initial few days, progressing a 3-4 mm weed on top. But four-five days out, a mower is used to trim a representation bald or zero-cutting as they call it. Then we start watering it reduction yet sufficient to safeguard it doesn’t go too dry and usually a light roller—say a 500 kg one—is used on it. It is needed to say half-an-inch of dampness yet even on Day One. That ensures that a round grips and turns off this aspect from a early going yet it doesn’t misbehave. Captains are speedy to use spinners with a new-ball too for these wickets mostly spin some-more than a under-prepared ones. Like a 2012 Wankhede pitch, a representation will not be a finish calamity for batsmen and will give them a satisfactory event compartment good into Day Two when a dampness totally dries adult and a tip aspect becomes loose.

Some curators can get it wrong when they use a ‘brush’—the kinds used to rinse utensils—and scratch off a weed dual days before a compare rather than evenly shred it off.


These are pitches that are made-to-order depending on a strengths of a home group — right from possibly their lead spinner is a leggie or an offie or a left-arm spinner.

RECIPE: Most curators will indulge in resourceful watering. They start with creation a representation wholly organisation yet afterwards safeguard that a tools of a wicket on possibly side of a stumps are kept dry. The center widen of a wicket is watered and rolled amply adequate to keep it organisation and ‘true’. So while a visiting team’s quick bowlers keep aggressive a stumps anticipating for that partial of a representation to mangle adult like a areas outward off and leg stump, it never happens even as a Indian spinners make a many of a disintegrating or severe partial of a wicket. Or like in 1998 when a curator ensured that a block patch on a length outward a right-hander’s leg-stump was kept organisation so that a hazard of Shane Warne was negated.


Not most in direct in India, unless a curator decides that a representation has to be a sporting one. Remember Nagpur 2004 or Ahmedabad 2008.

RECIPE: Start by progressing 6-7 mm weed on it. Heavy watering is a approach to go, and we have to say 3-4 inches of dampness subsequent a surface. On a initial day we use a 2-tonne drum to connect a aspect easily and safeguard it will sojourn hard. Then for a subsequent few days we use a 1-tonne roller. The day-time is used to dry a wicket by regulating a drum thrice or 4 times in a day for half-hour from 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm. Then we H2O a representation during 5 pm and leave it. On occasions during summer, we have to H2O a representation once in a afternoon to safeguard a weed stays alive and use a light roller. The final few days we come down to a 750 kg roller. Reduce a weed to 3-4 mm and connect it with a soil, so it gets kind of trustworthy with a dirt and creates a representation firmer. The dampness is confirmed during half-an-inch for Day 1 and once a covers come off each morning a dampness rises to a aspect giving it a uninformed immature look. The mower is used each morning to cut off a daily growth, yet a 3-4 mm weed that is firm with a dirt is habitual and ensures there is join and bounce.

The Bombay Crumble

This is a once-in-a-lifetime representation that was prepared to move a Aussies to their knees after they had finally won a array in India in 2004. There wasn’t some-more than dual days of cricket, and India did win yet after part-timer Michael Clarke had taken 6/9 with his left-arm spin.

RECIPE: The curator started off by scraping a representation and creation it dry before creation a reduction of khaad or organic manure and dirt and rolling it on tip of it. He started watering and rolling it with a light roller. So fundamentally he had combined an synthetic aspect —like a skinny runner — on top, that had no possibility of contracting with a strange territory below. Within half a day, a appendage aspect had come off literally with a round alighting on it, divulgence a akhara below. The rest is history.


Where batsmen order a roost and bowlers are reduced to being a lackeys. The customary transport for ODIs and T20s.

RECIPE: These engage a lot of rolling with a 2 tonne roller. But distinct with immature wickets, a watering has to be lighter so that there isn’t additional dampness subsequent a aspect and a wicket does sojourn somewhat dry. The weed quotient doesn’t always matter, as we can keep adult to 3-4 mm on it, and hurl it in. The representation is rolled 4 times a day with light watering in between these sessions. The representation will sojourn prosaic with a round entrance on easily to a bat.