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Types of Cricket Pitches

Weather and pitch conditions both have a major impact on how cricket games unfold. So if you are going to be wagering on cricket, you will need to learn how to read pitches.  This means not only understanding the current conditions of the pitch, but also being able to identify the overall “type” of pitch you are looking at.  This will help you to grasp not only the present conditions, but also how conditions are likely to change as a match progresses (very important with test matches in particular, which can last for days). And will of course influence your success when betting on cricket in a British betting website.


There is no single way of denoting “types” of cricket pitches.  Chances are good that over time you will develop your own system for looking at and thinking about them.  But here are some “types” to get you started.  Over time you may end up adding more to this list based on your experiences.


1.  Dusty Pitches

Dusty pitches tend to be dry and soft.  The clay is not hard-rolled.  Bounce is low, so batters can do well with dusty pitches, but it is spinners who really shine.  In fact, in test matches it is common for pitches to become dustier and increasingly worn as play progresses, which can help spinners to turn the ball.  The loose surface helps the ball to grip. 

Commonly found in: India, Sri Lanka


2.  Green Tops

These pitches have a layer of grass on them which produces seam on the ball after it is pitched.  As a result, batters have a hard time judging what is going on with the ball, so they tend to perform poorly on green tops.  Fast bowlers on the other hand find green tops to be quite advantageous.  Expect low-scoring matches.

Commonly found in: England, South Africa


3.  Dead Pitches

You will see dead pitches quite frequently in Twenty20 matches—and they are becoming increasingly common in general for many formats of cricket around the world.  The grass is completely rolled in and there is almost no moisture.  Dead pitches are really bad for bowlers, but really great for batters. 


This is where a lot of people stop differentiating pitches, but many people have additional definitions which they find helpful.  For example, you might also identify the “crumbling pitch,” which tends to be the end-result of a dusty pitch if dry conditions continue and there is a lot of wear after days of play.  A crumbling pitch tends to support spinners and medium-paced cutters.


Cricket Pitch Conditions in the UK

Following cricket in the UK, you are probably going to be watching a lot of domestic matches.  If so, you will quickly discover that English pitches can prove to be quite mercurial throughout the day and even throughout the year.  This is because the weather in England likewise tends to be subject to quite a bit of change.  The humidity tends to lead to grass and moisture in the spring; during the summer the pitches dry out a bit, harden, and lose some of their grass. 

As you might expect, that means that different players are favoured during different times of the year.  English pitches are more like green tops in the spring, so in the beginning of a season, batters will struggle and fast bowlers will do well.  Batters will have an easier time in the summer, and spinners will do really well as the pitches start to dry out. 


You now should be ready to assess the condition of cricket pitches accurately, particularly in the UK.  It is not easy; it takes time to learn to identify the overall type of pitch you are looking at and account for the impact of current conditions.  For example, one pitch in the UK might be a green top overall, but lean toward behaving like a dusty pitch during certain times of the day and during the summer months.  It might also behave like one during a particularly dry season, or after it starts to crumble from days of test match play. 


Over time, you will become more and more talented at assessing the pitch.  Once you do, you will begin to learn how the pitch type and conditions impact strategy and play to certain teams’ strengths.  This will give you an edge when you are betting at the various cricket tournaments and leagues.


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