The WTC final between India and New Zealand is slated to begin on June 18 at Southampton, and both teams are leaving no stone unturned in their preparation. While the Kiwi team beat England in the Test series, Team India is prepping by playing an intra-squad match. The head groundsman at the Hampshire Bowl is hoping for a pitch with “pace, bounce and carry" to deliver an action-packed match.
Simon Lee has gone on to say that the pace adds extra excitement in the Tests, and he is using this opportunity by preparing a wicket that will aid some fine batting and amazing spells of bowling.
“Having the WTC final here at the Ageas Bowl is pretty massive. I feel lucky to have the chance to produce a pitch for potentially the biggest game of Test cricket ever staged. It’s a huge opportunity,” Lee told ESPNcricinfo. “For me personally I just want to get something out that has some pace, bounce and carry in the pitch.
“It can be a hard thing to do in England as the weather doesn’t help us most of the time, but the forecast in the build-up is good with a lot of sun, so we are hopeful that we’ll get some pace and a hard pitch without over-rolling it and killing it.
“Pace just makes red-ball cricket exciting. I’m a cricket fan and I want to produce a pitch where the cricket lovers have to watch every ball in case they miss something, be that some class batting or an amazing spell of bowling. A maiden over can be quite exciting if it’s a battle of skill between both bowler and batter.
“So, yeah, if we can get some pace and bounce in the pitch, but not too one-sided towards seam movement, we’ll be happy," Lee added. The Indian team could be seen going in with four pacers, depending on the pitch. But they will also have to think about the batting combination as having a fourth pacer will increase the tail.