Shane Warne may face a longer wait then he expects in search of his 600th Test wicket - if pitch reports from Old Trafford for this week's third Ashes Test prove a reliable guide.
Cricket history dictates that Manchester provides grip and dust from the earliest exchanges, making the selection of at least one spinner an absolute must for any gameplan.
All-time leading wickettaker Warne needs just one more to achieve a milestone long thought well beyond even the greatest bowler - and if he could have chosen anywhere away from Sydney or the sub-continent to best suit his wrist-spin it would surely have been Manchester.
It was after all on this ground that Warne stunned a hapless Mike Gatting and a whole world of cricket watchers with his first ever Ashes delivery - bowled over the wicket and turning viciously from a dipping trajectory to pitch well outside leg-stump and yet hit off.
There may be a little more hard work in the offing before the initial success this time, though, with Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes predicting a pacy and reliable surface.
"The wicket here is hard and firm already. We are only on Monday," he said.
"I walked on it this morning, and it was like walking on paving stones. If it hardens up, as (groundsman) Peter (Marron) expects it to, it will have pace and bounce. People expecting it to turn square on day one can forget it. Historically you would pick another spinner here - but if this wicket carries on as it has been I would go with a pace attack."
Cumbes is anticipating a sell-out crowd for as long as the cricket lasts, in a series which, after England's tworun win at Edgbaston yesterday, is level at 1-1 and has raised expectations of an epic contest throughout.
"Coming here 2-0 down, it would have been a little flat, but everyone is buzzing now," he said.
"We have sold out for the first four days. It is going to be our largest attendance of modern times, since people used to sit on the grass
outside the rope.
"We have a capacity of 23,000. If we go to a fifth day we will be in excess of 100,000."
Nothing Warne produces will cheer the partisan support as much as the sight of England's match-winner and Lancashire's own Andrew
Flintoff, a fact Cumbes has long been banking on.
"It's exciting for Freddie. He's going to be in front of his home crowd. It's his first Ashes series, and he will be really pumped," he said.
Neither Flintoff nor Warne are the guaranteed star attractions, however. Both teams are blessed with much more than their share of world-class attacking cricketers, and Cumbes expects the action to be frantic, as it has been in the first two Tests.
"It is the biggest Test at this ground for a long time, and this is biggest series in this country for a long time," he said.
"I will be amazed if any Test (in this series) goes to five days. That's nothing to do with the wickets; it's just both sides - they get on with it. I think we could be looking at another four-day Test. It is going to be electric. People are full of expectation. If England get away to a good start it will be a great atmosphere."
Meanwhile, Flintoff's Lancashire team-mate Dominic Cork, one of his most immediate predecessors as a pretender to the role of Ian Botham as an England match-winner with bat and ball, has joined the chorus of praise for the Edgbaston matchwinner.
"Andrew will, I hope, turn out to be one of the best of all time," said the former Derbyshire captain, who took seven for 43 on his own Test debut against the then-formidable West Indies ten years ago.
"There's other world-class all-rounders like Andrew Symonds, but the way Freddie proved himself at Edgbaston just shows how good he is now."