Bloemfontein: Even as South African coach Graham Ford expressed his apprehensions about the pitch prepared for the first Test starting against India of Friday, home captain Shaun Pollock was not willing to read too much into a little grass that was visible on the wicket on the eve of the match in Bloemfontein.
"It looks pretty similar to most Bloemfontein wickets. There is little bit of more grass but you never know till you actually go out there," said Pollock after his side finished practicing at the nets on Friday morning. "If the conditions stay as hot and humid as they are at the moment, it is a good toss to win and bat first...but if it is overcast, we might consider bowling first," he said. While Ford had bemoaned the condition of the pitch saying it might end up favouring the tourists, the chief groundsman of Goodyear Park sought to allay such fears and predicted that paceman Mornantau Hayward might throw his fastest delivery on Saturday. Preferring to not delve deep into the pitch controversy, Pollock showed a healthy regard for the Indians and said their middle order had never appeared more settled than it is was at the moment. "They are more settled in the middle order than they ever have been," said Pollock. "They also have a lot of bowling options. It will be interesting to see which top order they go with and which bowlers they play." Pollock said one of his strategies would involve applying pressure on the Indian top order batsmen. Extras:
Ill-prepared India faces SA in 1st Test
South Africans sitting pretty compared to Indians
Dravid fit for Test series: Dalmiya