Ashes batsmen can expect another bumpy ride in Adelaide

MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – The Adelaide Oval curator will seek to juice up what has traditionally been a docile pitch for the second Ashes test between Australia and England next week, meaning batsmen may be in for a torrid opening.

Damian Hough said he would leave grass on the refurbished stadium’s new drop-in pitch to make it more bouncy in the opening days of the match starting on Dec. 5.

“We are planning to have something early. From our end, we are trying to get as much pace and bounce as we can,” Hough said in comments published by Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper on Tuesday.

“We will look at leaving a little grass on it just to assist with making it a competitive wicket.”

Fired by seamer Mitchell Johnson, Australia thrashed England by 381 runs in the first Ashes test as the Gabba wicket in Brisbane maintained its bounce and pace right through the fourth and final day.

The Adelaide Oval has traditionally been batsman-friendly and the drop-in pitch came in for criticism after more than 1,000 runs were scored in a four-day Sheffield Shield match between hosts South Australia and Western Australia two weeks ago.

South Australia captain Johan Botha took encouragement from the performance of the pitch in a match against Tasmania that finished on Monday, but suggested bowlers needed more assistance on the opening two days.

England paceman Stuart Broad, who took eight wickets at Brisbane, said England would look for inspiration in their last batting effort at Adelaide Oval in the 2010-11 series, when they put on 620 runs in the first innings before romping to an innings victory.

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