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The Roar


Don't drop spinner, curator tells England

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15th December, 2021

England will make a mistake if they dump specialist spinner Jack Leach for the second Ashes Test, Adelaide Oval’s head groundsman says.

Damian Hough says his pitch for the day-night encounter starting on Thursday will offer spin.

The tourists are pondering dropping Leach, who Australia whacked for 1-102 from 13 overs in their first Test triumph in Brisbane.

Fast bowler Jimmy Anderson is certain to be recalled for Adelaide and his experienced pace partner Stuart Broad is also in the selection frame after both missed the series opener.

Hough, asked if England will be making an error if they don’t select a specialist spinner, replied: “Yeah, I think so.

“History says that the pitch will spin,” Hough told reporters on Wednesday.

“(Australian spinner) Nathan (Lyon) has always played a role out there so from our end we believe that spin in Adelaide needs to play a part.

“We feel that it has previously and it still should.”


Lyon has played five day-night Tests in Adelaide, taking 19 wickets at an average of 25.78 – about six runs below his career average.

Temperatures of 30 degrees are forecast for day one and 37 degrees for Friday before dropping to the high-20s for the remainder of the Test.

Hough said Adelaide’s warm weather leading into the Test had been ideal for pitch preparation.

“We are pretty happy with how it has played over the last few years so we’re trying to produce something pretty similar,” he said.

“We think we have got the recipe.

“But the beauty with pitch preparation is it changes all the time, weather plays a part, pitches keep maturing so they behave slightly different each year.

“It’s a coarse amount of grass that is dry and hard that will nip around with the new ball, it will bite in and spin, and hopefully as it gets older there’s some (batting) partnerships to be had.”