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Adelaide Oval a building site for Test
Steve Larkin
14:17 AEST Wed Nov 21 2012

Once a jewel in Australian cricket's crown, Adelaide Oval has lost is lustre.

Australia will confront South Africa in the second Test at a construction site, rather than one of the most picturesque grounds in the world.

Entire grandstands have been ripped down and ground capacity reduced almost by half as the oval undergoes a $530 million redevelopment.

Picture-perfect has turned to an ugly duckling with the entire eastern and southern sides to be vacant, apart from rubble and scaffolding, during the Test.

"It is certainly going to be different not seeing people sitting on both sides of the ground," Australian captain Michael Clarke said on Wednesday.

But amid the unsightly surrounds, the hallowed turf and renowned pitch remain the same: pristine.

"It doesn't change the condition of the outfield or the pitch - they are still in fantastic nick," Clarke said.

The construction, to be finished in 2014, reduced capacity for the Test from about 38,500 to around 20,000.

And the building work shaved six metres of playing field from the already short square boundaries.

As a result, the three eastern-most pitches can't be used as the boundary would be too small - a problem for Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough.

Hough normally has eight possible pitches, but can only use five.

"There have been a few challenges with that from the lack of pitch rotations," Hough said on Wednesday.

"To compensate that, we have deliberately left a little bit more grass on there to try and help with recovery."

But Hough said the construction had not altered what would be a "traditional Adelaide Oval pitch" for the Test.

"It has got a little bit more grass on it than last year but it's hard and it's dry," he said.

"There might be slightly a bit more bounce and I suppose that is what we are trying to get - as much bounce in the Adelaide pitch as we can.

"Obviously, it's not the same as Brisbane or Perth but, hopefully, it's just a typical Adelaide Oval pitch.

"There is no reason to change the way we have been preparing pitches - we have only had three draws in the last 20, 21 years."

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