We have often heard during a cricket match that dew factor can completely change the equation of a match. But what is Dew ? How does it affect the course of a match? What are measures that can be taken to overcome it to some extent? Let’s have a detailed analysis on various ways in which you overcome the dew factor in a cricket match.
‘Dew’ is basically tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night, when atmospheric vapour condenses. It is generally formed during late evenings. A layer of moisture can be noticed on the grass field during day-night games. It usually happens during the winter season when the temperatures fall rapidly.
It is because of dew that we often see captains choose to chase because the ball becomes very wet and it is easy to hit runs. Bowling under dew is a lot tougher job than bowling under normal conditions. Especially for spin bowlers it is quite difficult to grip the bowl. The ball eventually goes a lot straighter with no spin or swing in it even though if it is being offered.
With zero variations on offer it becomes very easy to hit runs under dew. Even for the fielders, they face difficulties as the ball starts skidding which can result in bad timing while fielding. Wet outfield is slippery, making fielding unpleasant and tough which ultimately can result in bad injuries.
There are wayouts to eliminate this menace not completely but to a certain extent as is suggested by BCCI Pitches & Ground Committee Chairman Daljit Singh. He says that the local ground committee need to rope in extra manpower in order to implement the anti dew measures which are as follows:
Stop watering the outfield at least 2-3 days prior to the match day as it will make the ground very dry and help absorb the moisture quickly.
Cut the grass as low as possible as less grass would make the ground less wet.
Use of tested non toxic spray in neutralising the initial dew. Once it is sprayed no cutting of grass or roller should be used on the outfield.
Use of ropes to drain out dew in between overs.
Use of super soppers whenever possible to soak up the wet grass and carry it away into a drain.