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Thread: Dry Pitches, Wet Pitches, What does it mean?

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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Dry Pitches, Wet Pitches, What does it mean?

    Having been a member of many cricket forums, this is the most knowledgeable and most active so best ask this here.

    I am quite knowledgeable at cricket, but pitches baffle me completely. What I know so far is that pitches with grass on them are frightfully slow and also move off the pitch quite a lot off the seamers. Spinners hit the seam, so why does it not spin on green wickets?

    What I know so far:

    Grass
    • Hard, green and light (orange) coloured pitches are good for pace bowling. Good carry as the ball kisses the surface.
    • Grass creates seam movement because the grass and the roots creates miniscule undulations in and under the surface of the pitch for the seam to grip off and create an uneven movement.
    • Lots of grass creates a slow pitch as the grass creates friction with the ball and slows it.

    Dryness
    • The drier the pitch, the slower the ball comes off the pitch.
    • The drier the pitch as the ball comes of it slower, the ball by a spinner has fractionally longer on the surface and grips and turns more.
    • Dry tracks crumble as the day(s) goes on. Crumbled areas (which can be caused by footmarks or the ball landing) give the ball a great uneven area to purchase off and spin.


    Whether a pitch is hard or soft depends largely on the soil type and also how wet the soil is. However, you can still get a dry, soft surface if the soil is of that type.

    Manee
    Last edited by Manee; 30-05-2007 at 12:28 PM.
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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Well, it's common cricketing knowledge that pitches that are hard, green and light coloured are generally good for pace bowling, and will carry through well. I think green pitches seam around more because the grass makes the surface more uneven and lumpy
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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    Well, it's common cricketing knowledge that pitches that are hard, green and light coloured are generally good for pace bowling, and will carry through well. I think green pitches seam around more because the grass makes the surface more uneven and lumpy
    Yes, I am lightly aware of things like you just said about hard, grassy pitches good for pace bowling, but I am more interested in the why as to deal with less defined pitches if I captain a match.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    They dryer (drier?) a pitch is the slower the ball comes off it (unless it is completely saturated by rain). On a hard, grassy, green pitch the ball will kiss the surface and have good carry.

    On the dry track, as the ball comes of it slower, the ball by a spinner has fractionally longer on the surface and grips and turns more. Also the dry track crumbles and the crumbled areas gives greater purchase to the spinning ball. The crumbled surface (eg in bowlers footmarks) gives a far more unever surface with nooks, crannies and roughness on which the ball can gain purchase.

    The complete opposite would be a track made of glass. A spinner wouldnt be able to easily turn the ball on that hypothetical surface as there is nothing for the ball to grip.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Very interesting. So, a pitch after a mini drought, it would be good to pitch the ball on a good length because the pitch is slow, but because it will be hard, it will bounce more and may catch the batsman in two minds. It bounces more on a dry track because the bowler's reverse revolutions of the ball have more time to grip.
    Also the dry track crumbles and the crumbled areas gives greater purchase to the spinning ball. The crumbled surface (eg in bowlers footmarks) gives a far more unever surface with nooks, crannies and roughness on which the ball can gain purchase.
    So, Warne and Mcgrath were good together because Warne could aim in Mcgraths foot marks which were close to the stumps on a full length and further wide on a slightly shorter length. It makes sense now.

    A bit of a silly question but aren't all dry pitches hard and vice versa?

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    A bit of a silly question but aren't all dry pitches hard and vice versa?
    Nope, you can get some very soft pitches that are very dry, but are soft because of the local soil and stuff. I doubt you'd find that in Test Matches and stuff, but in clubs then yes.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    Nope, you can get some very soft pitches that are very dry, but are soft because of the local soil and stuff. I doubt you'd find that in Test Matches and stuff, but in clubs then yes.
    I see. I've learnt loads from this thread already/

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    A bit of a silly question but aren't all dry pitches hard and vice versa?
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    Nope, you can get some very soft pitches that are very dry, but are soft because of the local soil and stuff. I doubt you'd find that in Test Matches and stuff, but in clubs then yes.
    Indeed, The WACA in Perth (and plenty of other grounds in WA, apparently) is incredibly dry but incredibly hard, and many grounds in Sri Lanka and India are (or used to be) incredibly dry and incredibly soft.

    All dependent on soil types.

    And in Britain there's such a massive range of soils - and grasses, for that matter - that you can go just less than 100 miles and see more variation than you do for an entire country elsewhere.
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    A fantastic exhaustive description about preparation of pitches. It was prepared by CSA and largely deals with preparation of pitches in South Africa but as a guide it is useful for everyone interested in pitch preparation.

    Cricinfo - Cricket pitch preparation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    Spinners hit the seam, so why does it not spin on green wickets?


    Manee
    Also depends on the kind of grass.
    When I played in England, the grass was 'greener' and softer, making the ball just glide across it and not really grip the surface much. In India, the grass is drier and more like straw, which offers grip and turn to the spinners.
    Last edited by OnDrive; 29-12-2009 at 11:02 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    The weirdest pitch i have ever seen in my time of watching cricket is the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai with that red soil.

    The pitch for the fast bowlers seams around like a Headingley greentop (mainly with the new ball). Then when the spinners bowl, they get typical turn that you would expect from a "dry" sub-continent pitch. Always found that very unusual.



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