All eyes on the pitch as India prepare to take on England in second Test from tomorrow
London: After the lifeless strip that did neither team any good at Trent Bridge in the first Test, there's keen interest in what lies ahead when England meet India in the second Test at Lord's beginning tomorrow.
England captain Alastair Cook (left) and coach Peter Moores (centre) inspect the Lord’s pitch in London yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
And, for the moment, all eyes are trained on the pitch and how it's likely to behave over the course of the encounter. Yesterday, the curator, Mick Hunt, sprinkled the strip lightly at about 9:30 in the morning, suggesting it was probably the last time it was being watered before the start of the match.
And minutes later, it was covered with plastic sheets rather than the traditional dome covers that are employed here. The move seemed to suggest that the groundsman wanted the moisture to stay intact. On the other hand, the dome covers allow air to flow underneath and dry the pitch slowly rather than expose it directly to sunlight.
Although the pitch wore a green tinge, it is likely to be trimmed before MS Dhoni and Alastair Cook walk out for toss. Later in the morning, the covers were removed for about 30 minutes as Hunt discussed the nature of the strip with members of the England Cricket Board.
Shikhar Dhawan will be feeling the heat at Lord's
One of those was Chris Woods, the pitch inspector. As Woods presented the moisture reading to Hunt and another ECB official, all of them got into an animated discussion and the covers were back soon after.
The slight sprinkle was also a result of the fact that temperatures over the next four days are likely to stay around 25 degrees celsius. And in all likelihood, India will confront a traditional Lord's pitch.
It will offer assistance to the fast bowlers in the first session and then flatten out. Given the poor record finger spinners have here, it's unlikely that India will change their combination.