Forecast hot weather has kept Adelaide Oval ground staff on their toes ahead of the first Test between Australia and India starting on Thursday.
Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough hopes spin and seam will play a key role when Australia host India despite a scorcher forecast for the start of the first Test
The mercury is set to soar to 39C on Thursday and 34C on Friday, forcing Hough and his staff to leave extra moisture in a pitch that will start out with a "nice, thick layer" of grass.
Adelaide's drop-in pitches have earned a reputation for being the most bowler-friendly in the nation. All five Tests played at the ground since it was redeveloped and drop-ins were installed in 2013 - including two pink-ball Tests - have yielded a result.
Hough has changed little in his preparation and is hopeful a generous grass covering will aid the seamers, while it's also possible the hot weather will help the pitch to deteriorate late in the Test and provide something for the spinners.
"It's hard to tell with the heat, whether that'll have a positive or negative effect," Hough told reporters on Wednesday.
"The hot weather can really bake the pitch and play an important role in pitch preparation. But the flipside of that is if it's not quite right, it might go the other way and flatten out a bit.
"Time will tell but we're comfortable where it is right now."
Australia's decision to drop allrounder Mitch Marsh in favour of Peter Handscomb means they will expect Nathan Lyon to shoulder a heavy workload.
The offspinner has enjoyed strong success at the ground where he previously served as a curator's assistant.
"I know Nathan's always been able to get some turn out there and good bounce. He actually wanted me to say that he could turn it on ice," Hough joked.
"He's been able to make it turn, which has been good. Hopefully (spin) plays a key role."
Hough said feedback from the initial rounds of the Sheffield Shield had been positive and the key focus remained on providing an even contest between bat and ball.