A new wicket for the second Test at McLean Park

March 24th, 2009 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Napier, March 24 (IANS) The wicket at the McLean Park here which will host the second cricket Test between India and New Zealand starting Thursday has been altered due to fungal growth.
Curators prepared a new strip within 10 days to keep the fungus affected areas outside the playing zone.

The surface had been moved two to three feet and included half the original pitch and half of the adjacent one which was used for the One-day game between the two sides earlier this month.

The move has not gone well with New Zealand coach Andy Moles, who was looking for a seaming track to nail the visitors who have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

“We need a typical New Zealand wicket where it nips for about a couple of days, so that our seamers can take advantage of the conditions against the Indian batsmen,” Moles said.

“If the wicket is very dry it can turn a lot, which is obviously something we don’t want to experience down there.”

The New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has issued a statement, saying the new wicket is not affected by any disease and will hold true for five days.

“The original strip was affected by minor patchiness following the West Indies series. The patchiness is purely cosmetic and not the result of disease.

“The new strip appears hard and flat, with affected areas well outside the playing zone. The strip has been extensively prepared over the past 10 days and is in excellent condition,” NZC said.

Blair Furlong, the Central Districts chief executive, said: “It will be a good pitch, it will do something at the start and then flatten out.”

“It certainly won’t be a greentop, we don’t want a two-day Test.”

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