In the game of cricket, the 22-yard, or cricket pitch, is the centre of attraction. After all, that’s where the action between bat and ball unfolds.
But how does a captain decide what to do on a certain pitch after winning the toss? That’s where the knowledge of reading a cricket pitch comes in handy.
If you are a budding cricketer or a fan and want to know how to understand a pitch, then you are in the right place.
In this article, let’s learn how to read a cricket pitch.
Reading a Cricket Pitch
Now, if you are a beginner in the game, then it will be a bit difficult to read a cricket pitch. It all comes from the experience of playing cricket on different surfaces.
To help you understand the pitch, here are some factors that you should know before choosing to bat or ball.
Factors behind Understanding a Pitch
1. A Damp Pitch
If the pitch is damper, then it will be slow and the ball won’t come onto the bat properly, which means the batter needs to time their shots well. Talking about bowlers, they might find it difficult to pitch the ball at the right length, which might give batters a chance to smash the delivery hard.
To check if the pitch is damp or wet, just gently rub your palm on the pitch. If you feel any presence of moisture, then it is a damp pitch.
This type of pitch results in low-scoring matches, which might pose a challenge to both teams in terms of creating their strategies.
2. Grass Cover on the Pitch
The presence of grass on the pitch also plays an important role in deciding whether to bat or bowl. It acts as an indicator of how the pitch will play.
If there is a substantial presence of green grass, then the bowlers will get some help from the surface. On the other hand, if the grass is brownish, then it means the pitch is dry, hard, and good for batting.
3. Check the Toughness of the Pitch
It is important to check the hardness level of a cricket pitch. If the pitch is hard enough, then batters will score runs easily as the ball comes onto the bat quite well. This type of pitch also offers bounce and pace, which helps batters time the shot well and send the ball into the gaps.
However, batting on a soft and sticky pitch might be difficult due to the inconsistent bounce. The uncertainty might give the bowler a bit of an edge over the batter.
4. Cracks and Footmarks
As the game progresses, you might notice cracks and footmarks developing on the pitch. This factor might help spinners grip the ball well and extract some spin from the surface.
The cracks and footmarks are more prominent in Test cricket and can play a pivotal role on the 4th and 5th days of the match.
Before deciding whether to bat or bowl, you need to consider these factors and then arrive at a conclusion. It is crucial to have the knowledge of reading a pitch well, as it might help you plan better and stay ahead of your opponent.