MCC Head Groundsman Mick Hunt is confident of a result from his first international track of the summer - tipping England to beat Sri Lanka at Lord’s.
Hunt, the reigning ECB Groundsman of the year, says the track for the second npower Test will share the characteristics of most Lord’s pitches.
"Pitch preparation has been pretty good." said Hunt.
"In an ideal world you’d like it to be a bit overcast when you start your initial rolling so it doesn’t dry too quickly - which we got.
"It looks a pretty standard Lord’s pitch which will have reasonable carry on it.
"Unfortunately Lord’s is not renowned for turning pitches so if it does turn it will be out of the bowlers’ footholes.
"But the weather is set fair so it should be ok - no problems.
"It’s normally pretty balanced here. It’s like any Test pitch up and down the country, where on the first day in the first session the ball tends to do a bit for the bowlers.
"It’s all set up for a good Test match."
After a succession of drawn Tests in the middle part of the 2000s, the last five encounters at the Home of Cricket have ended in a result.
England have won on their last four Test visits to Lord’s and Australia hammered Pakistan in a neutral fixture played in 2010.
After watching Sri Lanka’s batting crumble to 82 all out in their crushing innings and 14 run defeat to England at Cardiff, Hunt was erring on the side of a home victory.
He added: "You can never really say for definite whether or not a pitch is going to produce a result because you never know what’ll happen. But, with Sri Lanka maybe a bit down in the dumps, England will be confident.
"England could dispatch them inside four days but you never know with Test cricket.
"I hope it goes the five days."
"Nature of the beast"
The 2011 summer has been a dry one so far but Hunt is confident that he and his staff have kept Lord’s well hydrated.
"We’ve been fortunate despite the dry weather that we’ve been able to keep things well watered." he added.
"I wouldn’t like to be paying the water bill at the moment though!
"When we get a spell of hot weather things do get very dry here at Lord’s because of the profile of ground.
"But that’s the nature of the beast."