Turning, not turning
Posted by: Streeter (IP Logged)
Date: 17 February, 2018 11:52

Since the final game of last season I have mused on the question of spin-friendly pitches and what constitutes too much assistance.This post has been prompted by WSM fans' comment to the effect that we won't be likely to field two spinners in championship games as a result of the censure/warning received from the ECB (?).
The sense I have got from comments over the winter is of a general feeling that we would thus be reverting to pitches offering little or no help to the spinners.It is this point that I am questioning. I am by no means a pitch expert , indeed my knowledge is practically nil, but it would seem to me that the difference between turning square on day one and no turn at all covers a wide spectrum. Would it not be perfectly possible to prepare pitches that are not in the least bit suspect but nevertheless offer enough for a top class pair working in tandem to gain advantage simply because of their superior skill.In other words do we neccessarily need to write off one of our strengths completely in order to obviate the possibilty of serious penalty?
Please discuss.

Re: Turning, not turning
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 17 February, 2018 14:46

I've had this long on going battle with the perception of 'Ciderabad' as some people call it for convenience. As far as I can see we have produced pitches in the past that cater for all our bowlers. As a couple of pitch inspectors have commented, it isn't Somerset's fault that county cricket batting line-ups can't play spin.

Only one pitch we have provided has been officially censured. There was that ludicrous comment by Angus but that was gamesmanship as far as I can see and it could be said that there was going to be NO official comment on that pitch until Middlesex questioned it. I think the Middlesex spinner took advantage of the same conditions if I remember properly though I haven't checked.

The issue seems to be how close to 'doctored' is legal? I think Mr Cooper wants to keep us well away from any boundary of good taste and the proliferation of accusations about 'raking' and 'scrubbing' and all that stuff that the media and those not there get hold of and base their whole assessment around.

That does not mean that the Taunton pitch cannot help spinners - there is no plan to make the pitch anti spin as far as I know and officials have not censured the pitch on times when our spinners have been successful on it. So business as usual seems to be the plan as far as I can see. We just don't make the mistake of using an overworn end of season pitch again and upsetting the inspectors. Upsetting Middlesex is still fine in my book


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/02/2018 14:47 by Grockle.

Re: Turning, not turning
Posted by: AG on apple (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2018 12:28

The problem, Streeter, is surely that our track has certain unfavourable characteristics, the most annoying of which is its propensity to flatten out over time. This tends to happen irrespective of whether or not we try to set the track up to take turn.

This characteristic of the pitch means that, to get a result, is is usually necessary to get most of the 20 wkts inside 3 days. This means that the track needs to be set up to favour bowlers early doors. Before the ECB changed the toss rule then MT’s general plan was ‘win toss, insert opponent,’ on the entirely correct premise that if there was life in the track for seamers, it would usually be early on. We could try to revert to these surfaces, but we’d risk being sent in on them. At one point there was a run of 4-5 years in which we won, I believe, only one home match in which we were inserted...

In my opinion then, to stand a good chance of results at Taunton, then the pitch either needs to start quite damp or it must start really dry, such that batting will be difficult early on. Damp = potential suicide given the current toss rule. Therefore, if we want result cricket then I think we must start them really dry (but not do anything daft involving rakes!)

Re: Turning, not turning
Posted by: Mike TA1 (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2018 13:19

I hope somebody don't start saying.

“This ground is not for turning” smiling smiley

Re: Turning, not turning
Posted by: Farmer White (IP Logged)
Date: 25 February, 2018 20:23

Surely we should produce a raging turner followed by a spin doctor to explain it away; insist no-one starts raking over old coals; and above all ensure each pitch is no more worn than the 'jokes' which gives us quite a lot of leeway.

Re: Turning, not turning
Posted by: Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2018 13:03

A favourite of mine from The Byrds : -

Turn, turn, turn!


A time for Roelof,
A time for Jack,
A time for Dom,
Don’t ever look back,
A time to grow grass,
A time to rake,
But if you do, don’t get caught
For heaven’s sake.

To every game – turn, turn, turn
A new season is coming – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven.

Re: Turning, not turning
Posted by: Grockle (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2018 16:21

My Good Clarence.... It's not even Spring yet and there are you all sprightly and inventive!!


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