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India won’t like the pitch, says curator

Wellington: One can’t really say it is unexpected, but it’s a fact that there would be no respite for the Indian batsmen from the New Zealand pacers as the Basin Reserve pitch, under cover for the last few days, would be a green, seamers’ paradise, curator Brett Sipthorpe said on Tuesday.

The second Test between India and New Zealand will start from Friday, here, with the visitors trailing the two-Test series 0-1 after losing the first game in Auckland by 40 runs with an entire day to spare.

“I don’t expect they (India) will be too happy when they see that,” Sipthorpe was quoted as saying by the stuff.co.nz.

Four days of rain had hindered pitch preparations for the final Test, but the showers eased to finally allow some work. Sipthorpe is known to produce wickets with lively pace and bounce and the Black Caps have requested him for a pitch which is similar to the one on which they romped to an innings and 73-run victory over the West Indies in December.

Sipthorpe said it was a guarantee that the captain winning the toss would prefer to bowl first on Friday.

“It has had good pace and bounce in it this summer and, basically, we’re aiming for exactly what we had for the West Indies Test… That was nice and bouncy and had a little bit of nip around, which suits the seamers,” he said.

“It just depends on how the weather is… If we have to take a little more off, we will, but we don’t want to lose our pace… And having a grass cover means it will have pace. We’ll do everything we can to try to keep as much grass on as we possibly can,” he added.

Sipthorpe said exploiting the bounce would be the key to success at Basin Reserve. “With the weather we’ve got leading into this one, there’s almost no chance of it drying out to bring spinners right into it. I think the bounce will be the key.” (PTI)