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Drop-in pitches dull cricket's tactical battle

They're looking to redevelop Adelaide OPval 2. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Roar Guru
18th December, 2013
32
2145 Reads

Drop-in pitches entered as cricket became commercial in the Kerry Packer era. They’re easy to make, fast to lay down and work as they should.

But what’s the point of playing a five-Test series if two of the five pitches are going to be basically identical?

I remember being able to tell the differences in the pitches of the five-Test tour when I was younger.

Sydney crumbled, Perth was bouncy, Adelaide was a bit of a mixed bag by day four, Melbourne held up pretty well with decent consistency and Brisbane was hard but didn’t offer anything overly left-field.

When you create an organic pitch the entire climate of that city comes into play – the soil in the ground is vastly different from state to state, especially between England and Australia.

The Adelaide Oval and the MCG – two of the best cricket grounds in the world – now use these commercial symbols of draconian capitalism.

Yes, they’re perfect for the AFL, however the AFL gets enough months as it is. Surely they can handle the cricket season lasting all summer?

Cricket is different from many sports in the world in that the climate and weather factor heavily in the type of game being played – from cloudy overcast weather helping swing bowling to the quality of the outfield affecting a four or a quick single.

This is why cricket is cool – it’s the closest thing to the tactical battle of war most of us will get. Baseball is plastic, football can change up in rain (huge surprise) and tennis relies on human factors to induce inconsistency.

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Drop-in pitches mean we have very similar flat-track pitches which vary little, even from country to country. It’s becoming a batters’ paradise as the bowlers face the difficulty of not having the advantage of a challenging pitch.

Sure it might mean lower scores, and less sixes, but by having these commercialy convenient atrocities we’re ruining the art of bowling and the inconsistency of cricket.

If Dave Warner and company like to hit big runs on flat tracks, come to the Holbrook &District Cricket Association – we play on concrete pitches with a one centimetre thick plastic grass covering.

Or they can jump ship to baseball. But if cricketers truly want to test their ability to adapt, then drop-in pitches shouldn’t be used for international cricket.