My job is to prepare a sporting track: Adelaide Curator
The word on the street is that Cricket Australia (CA) has dealt financial blows thanks to India's inability to complete five days of a Test match. "The advertisers are unhappy too," an official says. Australia have won three consecutive Tests, and regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in just ten-and-a-half days.
The pressure is now on Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough to prepare a featherbed to maximise gate returns. However, Hough denies any communication from CA. "I have had no such communication. My job is to try and produce a sporting pitch. After 10:30 in the morning of the Test match, it's up to the cricketers. I'll leave it up to the teams to fight that out," he said.
Hough has chosen the same 'number four' strip used for last year's Ashes Test. "Traditionally, Adelaide Oval is a good batting pitch. Hopefully there should be a little bit in it on Day One for the quicks, and then something for the spinners on Days Four and Five. Adelaide Oval will always produce spin later on and normally there'll be a little bit of inconsistent bounce on Days Four and Five, so I wouldn't expect anything else," he said.
With temperatures into the mid-30s until next Thursday, Hough has decided to retain more grass to shield the surface from the heat. "The heat will definitely dry the wicket out and it's reasonably dry already. This one has got a little bit more grass on it than probably last year's pitch to just get a little bit more bounce out of the pitch. We're trying to get a pitch that has good bounce and carry. I'd expect it to hold together quite well," he said.