Explained: What is dew in cricket and How to counter dew?

There are many factors influencing Cricket which include different weather conditions. Not to forget, DEW is one such element which drastically affects the game. Dew is the water droplets formed on the ground. It is formed because of condensation when the atmospheric temperature usually drops after sunset. Hence, this natural phenomenon has a unique impact on cricket, especially during the day/night matches.

The Impact of Dew on Cricket

Dew forms frequently during the 2nd innings of a match, which typically takes place in the evening. However, this is considered as an advantage for the chasing team. Because, the ball becomes wet and slippery, which makes it difficult for bowlers to maintain their grip and control.

Especially, spinners who depend on the grip will face tougher and more challenging bowling in dewy conditions. Also, the fast bowlers tend to struggle with swing because of the slippery surface.

As a result, the presence of dew affects the pitch conditions. Although it prevents new cracks from opening up and makes the pitch slower, it also freshens up the surface.

Hence, this can be beneficial for batsmen. Therefore, toss-winning teams often prefer to field first rather than bowling in challenging dewy conditions of the 2nd innings.

How to Counter the Dew Factor? What are the Strategies to be followed to minimise Dew on Cricket Field?

Despite the Dew causes challenges, there are many strategies that teams and ground staff can utilize to reduce the Dew impact:

Pre-Match Ground Preparation

To reduce dampness, ground keepers must not water the field before the match and cut the grass very short. Also, they can use non-toxic sprays which could help soil absorb the dew rather than remaining on the grass.

Utilization of Absorbent Materials

When the ball is delivered and comes back next time to the bowler, they must ensure to keep it as dry as possible. Hence, the bowlers can keep a towel handy to frequently wipe the ball before their next delivery. In this way, each time the ball gets in contact with the ground, it will have a lesser dew impact which is formed in the field.

Adapting Different Bowling Techniques

This is one of the most important points that the bowlers should follow. The bowlers should be able to modify their usual techniques. Therefore, they should not be relying on the surface gripping or friction. As a result, the bowlers must come out of their routine bowling pattern and thus alter their seaming angle and spin rate. In this way, the bowler will be able to have control over the ball.

Early Start to the Match Timings

By starting matches earlier, the dew effects can be reduced. Usually, the dew tends to form more in the evenings so to avoid that the match timings can be scheduled earlier.

Improved Innovative Solutions

Using newly improved chemicals and exploring new materials for the ball’s seam might effectively reduce the dew formation.

Fielding with Tactics

Ropes and super soppers are used during the breaks to completely drain out dew and reduce dampness on the field. This is especially useful for the fielding teams as the 2nd innings of an evening match often tend to have more dew formation.

Weather Predictions

Players like Muttiah Muralitharan frequently observe the morning sky to predict whether dew might occur that day. Also, the bowler will be able to estimate and change his bowling patterns accordingly.

Weather Conditions play a Major Role

The major roles of weather conditions include — the dew point, humidity, and air pressure. Therefore, it plays an important role in dew formation and influences the outcomes of a cricket match.

Batsmen generally prefer clear skies. Whereas bowlers prefer humid conditions as it enhances bowling swing and movement. As a result, the dew formation can degrade these advantages for bowlers.

The Impact of Dew on Cricket Pitches

Dew naturally occurs because atmospheric moisture settles down and crystallises on cooler surfaces. Especially on a cricket field, usually during the evening or night. As a result, it creates a wet and slippery surface, affecting the ball’s movement and swinging nature.

Conclusion

The Dew formation in the cricket field is a major factor that becomes a huge complication to the game. Also, it influences the strategies and results of the match.

Most of the time, it becomes an obstacle and challenges the bowlers. Therefore, the fielding team can use the above-mentioned tactics to counter the dew effects.

Be it the ground preparations, to handling the ball and altering bowling techniques, everything is an important strategy that will minimise the impact of dew. Following the countering methods could result in favourable outcomes in a cricket match.