All you need to know about types of pitches in cricket.

Different types of Cricket pitches? Really?

Does that even exist?

Let’s find out!

At the time of the toss, when your hearts are racing and the two competing captains are wearing their cool faces (nervous on the inside) you are praying that the toss favors your favorite team and they decide to bat (play it safe), right?

And then the winning captain you were cheering for announces–”we’ll bowl first!”

Why? How? Is that the right decision?

Well, what you don’tnotice is that before the stressful toss, the captains and coaches take a short trip to the ground and read the cricket pitch thoroughly.

After years of experience, coaches and seasoned players can analyze the pitches. The cricket pitch is a key deciding factor to opt for batting or bowling concerning moisture content and other factors.

But more importantly, not all pitches favor the bowler or the batter. Every pitch in every country under different climatic conditions is unique. Identifying the best pitches for batting and bowling comes with experience.

Lords Cricket Ground, located in London, England, is claimed to be one of the finest and oldest cricket pitches in the world.
Lords Cricket Ground, located in London, England, is claimed to be one of the finest and oldest cricket pitches in the world.

So, let’s get you introduced to different types of pitches in cricket.

What are the Types of Cricket Pitches?

Types of Cricket Pitches

Green Pitch

green pitch in cricket has more grass than other cricket tracks. The moist pitch has a high grass covering which means the green pitch is good for bowlers in comparison to the batsmen. The bowler can throw unpredictable deliveries on long wet grass. The green top cricket pitch is generally a preferred choice for test cricket as the pitch will wear off slowly.

Green Cricket Pitch

Flat Track Pitch

flat cricket pitch is a lightly rolled pitch. The track has little to no grass, no roughness, and no cracks. The pitch is apt for batters who enjoy no erratic balls. Spinners and fast bowlers will have a tough time on the flat-track pitch.

Flat Track Pitch

Dry Pitch

Dry Cricket pitches or hard pitches lack moisture. These pitches easily crack making a fast bowler’s life easier. Even though the dry pitch is good for bowlers, experienced batters figure their way around the pitch. The ball lands on the bat and a dry pitch doesn’t sway the ball unless it bounces from one of the cracks. Hence, a hard pitch is good for batting and bowling.

Dry Cricket Pitch

Wet Pitch

Often failing to cover properly, the cricket pitch is wet. The pitch will be more cohesive due to the high moisture content. Wet pitch doesn’t let the ball bounce freely making contact with the bat slower. Now if you are wondering if the wet pitch is good for batting or bowling, then here’s what we have to say- the wet pitch is for the bowlers as it is unpredictable and delays the delivery, however, it favours the swingers and not the spinners.

Wet cricket Pitch

Dusty Pitch

Another good bowling pitch is the dusty pitch. The dusty pitches in cricket have a significant covering of dust and are soft in nature. These unrolled pitches favor the bowlers allowing them to spin the ball better.

Dusty cricket Pitch

Dead Pitch

The dead pitch in cricket is meant for a limited-overs cricket match, not suitable for test cricket. A dead pitch is without grass and moisture. The terrain makes it harder to take wickets and the batters set records in scoring runs.

Dead Cricket Pitch

Cricket pitch information: What you must know about cricket pitches?

  • What is the length of the cricket pitch?

The size of a cricket pitch is 20.12m long (from stump to stump) plus a minimum of 1.22m behind the stumps to include the return crease and bowler approach area.

  • What is the width of the cricket pitch?

The width of the bowling crease is 8.66′ (264 cm).


How to read a cricket pitch?

At the beginning of the article, we discussed how captains conclude whether to bat or bowl first.

The decision-making starts with reading the pitch. Generally, there are three major parameters to focus on when reading a pitch- Volume of grass, moisture content, and compaction of the track.

Based on these parameters cricketers can evaluate the following requirements:

  • Is moisture high on the pitch?

High moisture means the ball won’t bounce (like a dry pitch) and reach the batter slowly. The batter needs to time the ball accordingly. Scoring runs is a task on such pitches.

Assessment: Rub the palm against the surface of the pitch and check for moisture on your palm.

  • Does the pitch have enough grass?

Green grass indicates moisture at the roots of the grass–suitable for bowlers.

Assessment: We’d like to point out an essential point here- Grass that is green is a sign of moisture whereasa straw-coloured grass indicates dry pitch.

  • How hard is the cricket pitch?

Hard pitch is good for batting. In cricket, a pitch is called a hard pitch when its moisture component is low. Although, the pitch offers the right surface for pace and bouncers, yet helps in scoring runs as the balls bounce consistently and timing the ball is easier.

Assessment: The behaviour of the hard pitch is predicted using the key method. If the key doesn’t penetrate the pitch, it is a dry and hard pitch.

  • Are cracks and footmarks visible on the pitch?

A visible cracked pitch with footmarks doesn’t indicate much on the first day of the match. But across 3–4 days of playing a long-form match or tournament such as the test match, the cracks and footmarks can often make it easier to spin the ball.

  • What is the type of soil on a cricket pitch?
Black soil and red soil cricket pitch

The type of soil used such as red or black solid determines how the track will behave in the match. The name of the soils used doesn’t indicate anything significant. Authorities are more concerned about the composition of clay and sand content in the soil to predict the best soil for cricket pitches.

Black soil cricket pitch is more elastic in nature and is durable for a long-format match whereas the red-soil cricket pitch is less elastic and wears off in a short span. The black soil pitches give better bounce over the red soil pitches, which have a reputation for drying faster and assisting spinners or slow bowlers.

  • How’s the climate and did it rain the previous night?

Moderate rain on the previous night doesn’t cancel the match. However, rain makes the field moist making it a favourable case for the bowlers.

While most cricket pitches are covered before a team A match, there’s some slack in the junior-level tournaments that leaves the cricket track moist.

  • What is the condition of the outfield?

While the outfield doesn’t impact the cricket pitch directly, however, the condition of the outfield is a vital factor in selection of batting or bowling during the toss. Moist field will make the balls running to the boundary slower, while dried up field will make it easier to bounce.

  • What is the past record of the cricket pitch?

After playing for several years experienced players and coaches create a reputation of the cricket pitch of different geographies. Some would be the fastest pitches in the world while some hold the reputation of the worst pitches in the world.

If the information is not handy, doing some prior research about the pitch is a good call.

Read the pitchPitch BehaviourWin the Toss to?
Green GrassFavourable for swing bowling and a bowler’s pitchBall first
Hard with no/little cracksFavourable for the batsman playing consistent balls with good bounce.Bat first
Dusty and crackedSpinners can take advantage of the pitch.
Pitch gets difficult to bat after wearing off.
Bat first

FAQs about the cricket pitch

What is a good pitch?

As per Umrigar, Legendary Indian cricketer, selector, and manager says a good pitch is one “which is dry, firm, well-rolled and which provides even bounce throughout, as also the pitch lasts for the duration of the match”. Also, a pitch that equally starts favoring the batting and bowling team is considered an unbiased and good pitch.

How long is a cricket pitch in meters and feet?

The cricket pitch is a rectangular area of the ground 22 yards/20.12 m/66ft in length and 10 ft/3.05 m in width.

How to dry a cricket pitch?

Ground-drying machines are the most commonly used equipment to dry a cricket pitch and remove excess groundwater. In some cases, air blowers, air dryers, and helicopters have come to the rescue.

How many steps is the cricket pitch?

The cricket pitch is around 26 steps from wicket to wicket. And cricket pitch length from crease to crease is 23 steps.

What is the size of a standard cricket pitch for children?

The cricket pitch size for under 15 children is 22 yards, the same as for adults. While kids in the under-13 category use a 21-yard pitch, under-11 stick to a 19-yard pitch, and for under-9, a 16-yard pitch is preferred.

What is loam on a cricket pitch?

Cricket pitch loam is a composition of soil created for cricket tracks. It is a blend of three elements–clay, silt, and sand.This soil has a clay content of between 26% and 36%.

Which pitch is good for batting?

If you ask us what a good batting pitch is, here’s what we have to say. Green pitches are good for a long-format of the match but flat track pitches are slightly better for short-formats since the bounce of the bowler’s ball is less erratic and scoring runs is easier.

Which pitch is good for bowling?

A very green pitch helps bowlers at the beginning of the match.

Which pitch is good for fast bowling?

A green pitch in cricket is seen as an apt opportunity for fast bowlers to maneuver the ball as the ball doesn’t grip much to the pitch, and the ball moves after pitching.

Which pitch is good for spinners?

A dusty pitch will favour the spinners as the ball will have more grip on the surface making it turn correctly.

Why are Indian cricket pitches slow?

Indian pitches are slow and soft. The pitch provides grip to the ball, making the delivery slower. Batters and spin bowlers can take advantage of the Indian turf.

Which is the world’s fastest cricket pitch?

The WACA in Perth, Australia is known to be one of the fastest pitches in the world. Also, the Sabina Park cricket stadium in Jamaica hosts one of the hardest and fastest pitches in the cricket world.

Which is the biggest cricket pitch in the world?

All international cricket stadiums maintain the same pitch size to adhere to ICC rules. However, Narendra Modi Stadium holds the record of the world’s biggest stadium with a seating capacity of 132,000 spectators.

So, now our question to you is–How would the cricket pitch of HPCA stadium, Dharamshala behave which is located at an altitude of 1317 meters above sea level? What would be the composition of the soil, and how will the weather impact the track?

Don’t forget to add your answers and findings in the comments!

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