Port Elizabeth curator ‘scared’ by ‘unshaved’ green pitch ahead of instructions

Johannesburg, Feb 19: The curator of the Port Elizabeth pitch, the venue for the second Test between South Africa and Australia, has admitted that he is scared by the ground’s ‘furry green’ condition, although he does not expect it to remain ‘unshaven’ for much longer.

A pitch with even bounce is expected for the second Test on Thursday, which may help South Africa’s batsmen combat the threat of Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson, who was helped by Centurion Park’s uneven bounce in his role of destroyer in the first Test, with match figures of 12 for 127 as Australia romped to a 281-run win.

According to reports, even Australian captain Michael Clarke described the Centurion pitch as ‘nasty’ although it compounded the problems caused by Johnson’s pace and hostility, and the curator at St.George’s Park, Adrian Carter is waiting for instructions from the South African camp before giving the pitch a ‘cut’.

Stating that the pitch will assist the seam bowlers a lot more if it remains in the same condition, Carter however, said that even with the grass covering, St George’s would never behave like Centurion as the pitch at the former has been slow for 114 years, despite efforts to make it quicker.

Agreeing with Carter, chief executive of the local Warriors franchise Dave Emslie said that batsmen should be able to trust the bounce in Port Elizabeth as the ground staff has been working on the Test pitch for months, although he dismissed the ‘myth’ of Port Elizabeth producing low and slow surfaces.

If South Africa is defeated in this week’s clash at Port Elizabeth, it will be their first Test series loss since 2009, the report added. (ANI)