There is disbelief over the pitches in Sri Lanka

There is disbelief over the pitches in Sri Lanka

Last Updated: Sun, Sep 23, 2012 05:21 hrs

​There is a suspicion here in Sri Lanka, partly because of disbelief over what they are seeing, that the wickets, like lazy people with bad habits, will go back to what they were: meaning the bounce and carry will fade away and they will become slow and sluggish again. We'll have to wait and see if that actually happens because this is the post-Murali era and Sri Lanka don't have too many bowlers to prepare those kinds of pitches for.

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But if that does happen, and the harsh sunlight outside my room could well be a factor, it has the potential to alter the course of this tournament dramatically. When it was first announced that the tournament would be held in Sri Lanka in September, everyone prepared for soggy, spongy conditons.

There were signs from the Sri Lankan Premier League that it may not be the case but the general belief was that pitches don't metamorphose so quickly. Indeed, the P. Sara Oval where a couple of practice matches were played, was as Sri Lankan as string hoppers and curry with cashew nuts.

On the old Sri Lankan pitches England would have struggled against India, they would have found the Yuvrajs and the Rainas difficult to get away and India's balance would have been perfect. Steven Finn and Stuart Broad, who enjoy hard pitches with bounce, would have been negated.

But as things stand, England will quite enjoy the conditions at the Premadasa Stadium; their batsmen are in good form, they bat deep, they have four seam bowling options one of whom bats in the top order and they have two spinners both of whom can bat. More important they have a group of young players in Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow who seem made for this format.

With India's bowling clearly their weaker arm, my concern is that the batsmen might try too hard to put more runs on the board which, as we know, virtually guarantees a sub-par score. England might begin as the favoured side but India have guaranteed themselves more time in this tournament....just in case the pitches change!

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