Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough. Picture: Kelly Barnes
Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough. Picture: Kelly Barnes

Bowling first could be way to go

Electing to bowl in Adelaide has emerged as a real tactic on a first Test strip rated the best in the nation by legends from Brett Lee to current stars.

It can be revealed that Cricket Australia has worked with venue curators to ensure "different characteristics around the country should be celebrated" despite the implementation of drop-ins in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

Perth's new 60,000 stadium has pace like the WACA of old while Adelaide has something for everyone.

Respected Adelaide curator Damian Hough's drop in pitch will offer appreciable assistance for the speedsters on day one while off-spinner Nathan Lyon will gain bounce and turn from the get-go.

Batting will become easier as the match wears on.

Footmarks that Lyon exploited in Australia's triumph on Day 5 in 2014 against India will be a factor with Mitchell Starc fronting.

However the pitch will not break up on the final like Adelaide's traditional strips did.

Hough has gone down a different path since India's last visit when the aim was to get the pitch too deteriorate like its traditional predecessor.

"If we can't get it too deteriorate like the old pitches it was how do we get a good contest between bat and ball? Hough told The Advertiser.

"You still want spin in Adelaide, we can tick that box, it does spin but how can we assist the quicks and how do we get it too nibble and at some stage get some partnerships.

"We have been able to get hundreds and partnerships, an even contest and entertaining game. That has been our key points.

"Our prep has been the same whether is pink or red ball and go out with the same time of preparation."

Lee maintains Hough's Adelaide pitch is the model for drop-ins around the world.

"You have to have something in there for the quicks," Fox Sports commentator Lee said.

"It has to be hard for batsmen and good for the bowlers but it will also be hard work after the new ball. The best Test matches in Australia have done that. Adelaide, it flies through, flattens out and turns at the end."

Mitch Marsh on Tuesday noted how Western Australia chose to bowl first in its win last month against South Australia with unbeaten Shaun Marsh (163) piloting a successful 313-run chase.

Travis Head elected to field in the drawn Shield season opener against New South Wales and notes how there has been 'nibble' in the Adelaide pitch all season.