Hampshire groundsman promises lively pitch for WTC final between India and New Zealand

Hampshire groundsman promises lively pitch for WTC final between India and New Zealand

also stated that keeping in mind the weather conditions in England, preparing a lively track can be an arduous task.

Ageas Bowl
General view of play at the Ageas Bowl. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The most-awaited final of the World Test Championship (WTC) between India and New Zealand could witness a live pitch with loads of pace, bounce, and carry. Simon Lee, the head groundsman of Hampshire’s venue, is confident of preparing a sporting strip for the WTC match, starting on Friday, June 18 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The Black Caps’ team has already gotten a fair amount of idea about the playing conditions in England after their two-match Test series against Joe Root and Co. Ahead of the WTC final, Lee also stated that keeping in mind the weather conditions in England, preparing a lively track can be an arduous task.

Pace just makes red-ball cricket exciting: Hampshire groundsman

“For me personally I just want to get something out that has some pace, bounce, and carry in the pitch. It can be a hard thing to do in England as the weather doesn’t help us most of the time, but the forecast in the build-up is good with a lot of sun, so we are hopeful that we’ll get some pace and a hard pitch without over-rolling it and killing it.

“Pace just makes red-ball cricket exciting. I’m a cricket fan and I want to produce a pitch where the cricket lovers have to watch every ball in case they miss something, be that some class batting or an amazing spell of bowling,” Lee told ESPNcricinfo.

“So, yeah, if we can get some pace and bounce in the pitch, but not too one-sided towards seam movement, we’ll be happy,” he added.

Going into the game, the Kiwis should be high on confidence after beating the hosts 1-0 in the series. After the first Test at the Lord’s ended in a draw, New Zealand won the second Test by eight wickets at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. Matt Henry became the Player of the Match in the second Test.

India, on the other hand, reached English soil on June first week, served their quarantine period, and have started practising. They have already announced the squad, led by Virat Kohli. After the WTC final, India are also set to play five Tests against England from August first week.