Team India are preparing for an enthralling contest in the 1st Test against South Africa at Cape Town, with the Newlands pitch historically being a bouncy track.
The Men in Blue are preparing for the bouncy pitch, but they might not encounter the type of bounce that one normally expects from a Newlands track.
The area is suffering from one of the worst droughts in recent times, which has made it tough for the groundsmen to create the true Newlands pitch.
The authorities have requested the citizens to not utilize more than 87 litres of water every day, in order to keep the amount and type of grass that is often found at the Newlands.
The curator of Newlands pitch, Evan Flint, hinted that the pitch could be trickier than expected, as the groundsman will find it tough to leave live grass on the pitch.
“With the pitch, we’ve been able to carry on watering it as usual every day with borehole water. But the outfield, we’ve only watered it twice a week so it’s a little bit drier and maybe not as lush as we would like it,” he spoke to ESPN Cricinfo.
“The challenge is that we need to leave live grass on the wicket, thin grass, so that there is pace, but we want to make sure the ball doesn’t grip and turn. Ideally, what we need is a little bit of rain in the morning and then sun in the afternoon and I don’t know how many days we will get that for,” Flint continued.
Nevertheless, Flint is optimistic to provide the Proteas with a hard bouncy track for the 1st Test.
“Everybody is pretty clear on what they want. We have tweaked a few things in terms of trying to get fresh green grass and we are also working on getting the wicket hard, so we’re rolling it, but we have to keep the grass alive at the same time,” Flint revealed.
“It will help the bowlers out in the beginning but it’s not going to be the Wanderers or Centurion,” he concluded.
The series begins with the 1st Test on 5th January, with the number 1 and number 2 Test teams clashing at Cape Town, to begin the series on a high.