Black soil and Red soil pitch in cricket: Both these kind of pitches have nearly contrasting characteristics, composition and attributes.
The ten franchises and their respective think-tanks have begun their preparations in full-swing as the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a touch over three hours away from its commencement.
With the league matches of the marquee league set to take place in four venues across two cities in Mumbai and Pune, it is needless to say how imperative a role the nature and behaviour of the pitches would play when the franchises would brainstorm their way in formulating strategies and plans before every game.
As far as the four pitches of IPL 2022 are concerned, the Wankhede stadium, Brabourne stadium, and the DY Patil stadium (all in Mumbai) are made up of Red soil, while the one in Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium in Pune is made up of the Black soil.
Black soil and Red soil pitch in cricket
When the experts term a Cricket pitch as batting-friendly or bowler-friendly, they basically refer to the amount of clay and sand content that goes into the making of the pitch by the curator.
While ideally, the clay content should be more than 50%, the content of sand should be less than 5%. An increase/decrease in both these elements coupled with the type of soil used, is what determines how the pitch is going to behave at different stages of the match.
The Cricket pitches around the world are made using either the Black or the Red soil. Factors like the dryness of the pitch, the cracks on it, are also reflective of the nature and characteristics of the soil used while preparation of the pitch.
Moreover, the characteristics of both these soils may differ across geographical locations. For instance, the black soil pitches in Australia generally offers more pace and bounce, while the black soil pitches in India may keep the ball low and offer lesser pace.
Difference between Black soil and Red soil
To simply put, the Red soil generally has less clay content, which results in more wear and tear of the pitch as the match progresses. This largely happens because the soil offers less elasticity and water absorption capacity which makes it dry relatively sooner than a black soil, leading it to crumble soon.
On the contrary, the Black soil has more elasticity and thus lasts for a longer time. The more clay content in it means more water absorption capacity; which means that the pitch doesn’t wear and tear soon.
The three pitches in Mumbai are likely to offer more bounce initially and thus assist the pacers in the initial stages of the league phase. But, as time would progress and more matches would be played on the red soil surfaces, expect the spinners to dominate proceedings due to wear and tear of the pitches.
On the other hand, the black soil surface in Pune’s MCA stadium is likely to assist the spinners right-away as compared to the other three surfaces in Mumbai.