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ICC World Test Championship final: Here's what to expect from Southampton track

The ICC World Test Championship final would be played between India and New Zealand at the Rose Bowl in Southampton from June 18. However, how would the track behave is a thing that everyone wonders. Meanwhile, here's what the curator aims at.

ICC World Test Championship final: Here's what to expect from Southampton track-ayh
Southampton, First Published Jun 14, 2021, 3:32 PM IST
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The cricket fraternity is impatiently awaiting the ICC World Test Championship final, set to be played between India and New Zealand from June 18. The game would be played at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Generally, the English tracks tend to be green, thus assisting the seamers. While mostly the same can be expected from the Southampton track for this tie, curator Simon Lee is looking to add a couple of more elements to make the final even more attractive.

"Pitch preparation for this Test is a little simpler as we are a neutral venue, we are guided by the ICC, but we all want is a good pitch that offers an even contest between the teams. 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," he was quoted as saying to ESPNCricinfo.

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"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. A maiden over can be quite exciting if it's a battle of skill between both bowler and batter. 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.

Although India has a depth of seamers in its side, its spin department always makes the most impact. On the same lines, Lee suggested that the spinners, too, would have something of their choice on the track, as the re-laid pitch does have something for them.

"As I said, the forecast is looking okay, the pitches dry out very quickly here as we do have some sand mixed into our cricket loam, which helped it hold together when the pitches were re-laid some 10 years ago, but it can help it spin as well. To get to that point, we'll need the seamers to bowl, some runs scored, and make some rough along the way. The pitch will always get talked about a lot, but you need the players to play their part to make a good game," he concluded.

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