Originally Posted by Top_Cat
They're blaming the weather, I believe. Mike Holding said in '76, when he took 14 wickets, that the summer was hotter yet the pitch was flatter than flat (other tidbits I've read from the other bowlers in the match confirm they were stunned with the zip Holding was getting).
Looks like the curator started the cutting/rolling part a bit too early and the hot weather dried it out more than he anticipated. There's not much in the way of seam on it from all indications but dry enough for the ball to really grip and cut/turn.
The 1976 wicket was as flat as a pancake and it was only Holding's extreme pace that gave him success, the ball did nothing off the pitch for any type of bowler.
The current pitch is a disgrace. There hasn't been any unexpectedly hot weather since June. He clearly prepared it early in the hope of it deteriorating sufficiently to get a result on days 4 and 5. Instead the pitch lasted two sessions before the ball started taking chunks out of the surface on pitching. A result wicket is one thing, a result decided by the toss of a coin is no use to anyone (except gloating England fans at some stage tomorrow).
Alec Stewart said on Sky Sports News that the groundsman should get a Knighthood.