Cricket fans have been left stunned after New Zealand unveiled one of the greenest pitches for a Test match in recent memory on Thursday.
On day one of the Black Caps’ clash with West Indies, fans were left shocked at how green the pitch at Seddon Park was.
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New Zealand is famous for its green-top pitches, but nothing compared to the green monster unveiled when the covers came off on Thursday morning.
Many fans pointed out the pitch looked exactly like the infield grass, while others thought it looked more like something you’d see at Wimbledon.
— Srihari Raman (@sriharikraman) December 3, 2020
“There should be a home advantage. If we go to the subcontinent we don’t expect to see a wicket like this,” Frankie McKay said in commentary for Spark Sport.
“Any time you are touring you do expect as the touring side to be slightly on the back foot or have conditions that are slightly foreign to you.
“But I think if you talk to the groundsman here he just loves to have a good grass cover on the wicket.
“I think it puts the fear up a few batsmen but also it just means it keeps its pace.
“He’ll say it’s a good wicket and the batsmen should be fine but the bowlers will be licking their lips.”
— Mathew Thompson (@MathewJThompson) December 2, 2020
How good is this pitch for the first #NZvWI Test in Hamilton.
Think there might be a bit for the bowlers early...especially with overcast conditions.
Photo: @BLACKCAPS#Cricket @sportingnewsau pic.twitter.com/S1gQj3y7Yh
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) December 2, 2020
as a bowler the pitch that New Zealand and West Indies are playing on currently gives me joy. but as a batsman ( lower order wayyy loww) it is already giving me nightmares. #NZvWI
— Zukozombi3 (@zukozombi3) December 3, 2020
— Jake O'Flaherty (@jakoboflaherty) December 2, 2020
If it isnt for the wide lines and stumps you genuinely won't know where the pitch is 😂😂😂#NZvWI
— Afzal Khan (@I_am_AfzalKhan) December 2, 2020
What time they dropping the pitch in? https://t.co/omTkgKRirY
— Josh Miller (@miltrain) December 2, 2020
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a green test pitch #NZvWI
— Kyle MacDonald (@kylemacd) December 3, 2020
This pitch is literally like someone has ripped the baize off a snooker table and slapped it into the middle of a field. Ludicrous. #NZvWI
— Michael Simpson (@Michaels051001) December 3, 2020
Brendon McCullum warns bowlers over green pitch
West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and chose the obvious option to bowl first.
The toss was delayed by two hours because of rain which saturated the playing area.
New Zealand named opening batsman Will Young to make a delayed Test debut in place of injured wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
However Young was dismissed for just five, trapped lbw by Shannon Gabriel.
While the Windies were obviously licking their lips to bowl, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said the pitch could very well be a false dawn.
“Even if you do win the toss there’s some added pressure on that because the wicket is green, you’re going to have favourable conditions,” McCullum said.
“From a bowling point of view you need to make sure you execute and take advantage of the green wicket you’re presented with. That can be quite tricky.
“We’ve seen on a number of occasions teams have won the toss and bowled in favourable NZ conditions have actually struggled because they’ve tended to try to place the ball on that fuller length.
“If they find themselves bowling the fields they set for their bowlers need to be straight and deep.”
The West Indies welcomed back Dwayne Bravo, who missed their mid-year tour to England and named Jermaine Blackwood ahead of Shimrom Hetmeyer.
New Zealand is looking for its home series against the West Indies and Pakistan to improve its standing in the World Test Championship.
Clean sweeps of both series would greatly strengthen its chances of playing in the final at Lord’s.
The West Indies are chasing their first Test win in New Zealand since 1995.
with Associated Press
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