Pitch perfect for Aussies at Showground

Australia hope the wicket at the Sydney Showground helps them against India the T20 WC opener.
Australia hope the wicket at the Sydney Showground helps them against India the T20 WC opener.

Australia expect a batter-friendly wicket for Friday's Twenty20 World Cup opener that could leave India feeling short-changed for their trip to Sydney.

India have expected to be able to take advantage of the Sydney Showground wicket, which is generally regarded as one of the slowest in the country and better for spinners.

However, there is significant variation in the drop-in wickets used at the Showground.

One is renowned for being low and slow, often giving the ground its reputation as being tough for batting and spinner friendly.

The other is believed to a far harder surface where the ball comes onto the bat more, with Australia believing that wicket will be the one used on Friday night.

Friday's clash will be the first international played at the venue, while no Women's Big Bash League games were played there this summer.

Australia have put significant research into the ground, with coach Matthew Mott believed to have been in constant communication with ground staff during the summer.

A warm-up match was also played against a Cricket Australia XI last month, believed to have been on the pitch that offers far more pace.

"We played here a couple of weeks ago and there is a really good deck and outfield," Australia captain Meg Lanning said.

"We are expecting the same.

"We've done as much as we can, there's not much data for women's games on this ground but throughout the Big Bash this year it seemed to play reasonably well.

"It looks like it will be a really good wicket."

If that is the case, that could come as a surprise to India.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur had not looked at pitch properly after their net session on Thursday, and it was under covers later in the day.

However, she has had the Showgrounds as a home ground while playing for the Sydney Thunder, and had hoped a slow wicket would suit her team.

"I've played many games on this track. I hope that what I'm thinking around that will come into play," Kaur said Thursday.

Australian Associated Press