“Don’t/Never judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it” is a cricket adage of unknown authorship. It’s possible that it’s the players (and not the pitch) that are bad or good.
“You can never truly judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it” was printed in the Evening Mail (Birmingham, UK) on May 26, 2005. “You cant judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it” was posted on the newsgroup rec.sport.cricket on January 15, 2006. “It is often said that it is hard to judge a pitch until both sides have batted” was printed in ESPN cricinfo on June 20, 2008.
Wikipedia: Cricket pitch
In the game of cricket, the cricket pitch consists of the central strip of the cricket field between the wickets. It is 22 yards (20.12 m) long and 10 feet (3.05 m) wide. The surface is flat and normally covered with extremely short grass though this grass is soon removed by wear at the ends of the pitch.
As almost all deliveries bowled will bounce off the pitch towards the batsmen (and only those not doing so would be in the case of a, usually accidental, full toss delivery), the state and type of a cricket pitch can significantly affect the outcome of a match. For example, a dusty, very dry, pitch will favour spin bowling because the ball will grip more on a dusty pitch - giving the team with the superior spin bowlers a significant advantage in the match. The state of the pitch is so important to the outcome of a cricket match that teams can be fined or docked points if they produce a poor pitch that is deemed unfit for normal play, or seen to be a danger to batsmen by the ball behaving erratically when pitching on it.
26 May 2005, Evening Mail (Birmingham, UK), “Cricket: Warwickshire serve up stuff of champions” by Brian Halford, pg. 82:
You can never truly judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it but any fears the Swans Nest Lane track was to blame for the clatter were soon removed.
Google Groups: rec.sport.cricket
Debate on nature of pitches
Well, lets see how the Indians do on this featherbed. Like Chappel said yesterday, you cant judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it.
Google Groups: rec.sport.cricket
India 4/59 off 15overs
never judge a pitch until both teams have batted on it. this is always a pretty true statement. far too often people here are bagging the team batting first, i have come to the conclusion that those people must be watching their first cricket matches.
Lancashire v Yorkshire, Twenty20, Old Trafford June 20, 2008
Cool Bresnan helps Yorkshire to tense win
JOHN WARD AT OLD TRAFFORD
It is often said that it is hard to judge a pitch until both sides have batted. There was nothing lethal in the Old Trafford surface; perhaps the problems were more in the minds of the batsmen when Yorkshire appeared to make a pig’s ear of their batting, but in the end they managed to win by just four runs, the match again going down to the final ball.
@IainWBXdotCOM They say don’t judge a pitch until both teams have batted, but this is looking pretty good!
10:40 PM - 25 Dec 2010
Replying to @YorkshireCCC
@Yorkshire_ccc one of the wisest things my late father ever said: “never judge a pitch until both sides have used it”
1:07 PM - 18 May 2011
They say never judge a pitch until both sides have batted. Well, having dismissed England for 192 Pakistan eased to 42-0 at the close.
8:27 AM - 17 Jan 2012
How We Regained the Ashes
By Stuart Broad
London, UK: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
Jimmy was put up to speak to the press and showed his experience by managing to play a straight bat through gritted teeth when asked for his thoughts on the pitch. ‘You can’t judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it,’ he said.
England’s glory, sensational Stokes and Super Over chaos…WORLD CUP TALKING POINTS
NICK FRIEND: A tale of two dives: one that garnered four fortuitous, immortal runs; the other that left Martin Guptill two feet short of World Cup glory
Nick Friend | 14/07/2019 at 17:50
There is an old adage – indeed, a wildly overused adage in this curious sport. Never judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it, they say. As I say, wildly overused. Yet here, it has arguably never been truer.