Optus roll out a green carpet

Optus roll out a green carpet

The WACA curator Brett Sipthorpe at the Optus Stadium, the venue for the second Test between India and Australia, has laid out a green carpet that had the Indian captain “excited.”

According to Sipthorpe the pitch will have plenty of pace, bounce, swing and seam movement for the pacers, but it will be missing the Fremantle Doctor – the afternoon sea breeze sweeping across the old Perth stadium – that was so integral to the romance of Test cricket in this part of the world.

The lower stands at the old stadium allowed the breeze, that arrives at almost clockwork precision, to reach the pitch and it was believed to aid swing besides providing some relief from the soaring, energy-sapping temperatures. Out of nowhere, fast bowlers, who used the gusts to good effect, would have the ball snaking around while effecting stunning collapses.

The Optus Stadium, with its three-tier stands, will negate this act as the tall structure will block the breeze.          

“What happens is, it comes in and bounces off the back of the stadium, so it actually feels the opposite inside,” pointed out Sipthorpe. “It's a bit of an interesting one, it just swirls, so it's certainly not the same as what we had across the road (in the old WACA). It swung a lot in the Shield game, so maybe it actually helps the swing - not having that cross breeze,” he analysed.

The curator also indicated the match may not last full five days on what he predicts to be a “bounciest” pitch. “We haven’t been asked about duration at all,” he noted when asked as to how long the match would last. “We’ve just been told to make it fast, make it bouncy if you can and run with it. I don’t know what’s happened in the past, I’ve heard lots of rumours about commercial pressures and that sort of stuff but I’ve had no correspondence about that. We’re just trying to produce the bounciest pitch we can,” he offered.

There is also, Sipthorpe said, a chance of pitch cracking mainly due to high temperatures. “This one’s the oldest of the pitches, it’s the prototype from Glocester Park so it should hold together a little bit longer than what the (Sheffield) Shield one did. But 38 degrees tomorrow, that’s the unknown. It gets really hot in here, it traps that heat in and we won’t get the breeze, so we’ll see what happens.”