Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  

Inzy wants hard, bouncy pitches for India Tests

Pakistan will look to prepare hard and bouncy pitches for the Test series against India next month, according to Pakistan skipper Inzamamul Haq.

"The pitches will be different to the ones we played on against England. We will like to have tracks with more bounce and pace in them as we now have a pace attack capable of taking full advantage of such tracks," he said in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

Last year when India toured Pakistan the Test pitches were better suited for the visiting seam bowlers who with their reduced pace took more advantage of the little grass on the soft surfaces. English curator Andy Atkinson had supervised the preparation of the pitches. Agha Zahid, the chief curator of the Pakistan Cricket Board who has prepared the pitches for England series, said that for Pakistani bowlers hard and bouncy tracks were more suitable.

"Our bowlers have more pace and leaving grass on the wickets are not useful for the team. Our bowlers need hard and bouncy tracks where they can gain that extra pace and make the ball swing in the air," he explained.

Zahid said that preparation of the pitches for the Tests in Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi would not be an easy task and would start at least 10 to 12 days before the match itself.

"The weather is now very cold and the temperatures continue to drop. In such conditions it is very difficult to keep the pitches dry of moisture and dew and to get some live grass on the surface. At times when it is freezing we even have to use heaters to keep them dry of dew and we now cover the wickets from late night to ensure the pitch retains its heat."

Pakistan beat England in the Tests at Multan and Lahore on the final days with even the second Test at Faisalabad going to the end with the home side needing just four more wickets to secure a win.

The chief curator said for him the most satisfying thing was that the Tests had gone to the wire and two results had been produced.

"In my 30 years game I have not witnessed such a Test series where the matches have been close and played to the end with the result not clear. It is good for cricket and for the Pakistan team."