Get the app

Australia vs Pakistan: Misbah & Co Look Forward to Red Ball, Hard MCG Pitch

Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower says his side is looking forward to a return of the red ball and a hard Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch for the second Test against Australia beginning Monday.

Press Trust of India |December 24, 2016, 10:25 PM IST
Australia vs Pakistan: Misbah & Co Look Forward to Red Ball, Hard MCG Pitch

Melbourne: Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower says his side is looking forward to a return of the red ball and a hard Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch for the second Test against Australia beginning Monday.

The visitors lost the day-night first Test at the Gabba by 39 runs, having made a bold bid at a come-from-behind victory.

Former Zimbabwe star Flower believes the Melbourne conditions will give his side a better chance of taking early wickets and exposing Australia's middle-order with reverse swing.

"(The pitch) looks good. It looks hard. It's going to have good carry," he said this week. "It's going to be hard work for the bowlers, but if we can get into them early and if the ball starts reversing then I'm sure we've got a good chance of making some things happen."

Flower also expects the MCG pitch to benefit legspinner Yasir Shah, who was criticized by commentator and former legspin great Shane Warne for bowling too defensively in Brisbane.

"Hopefully towards the end of the match, Yasir can come into it a bit more," Flower said. "I'm sure if the ball is turning a bit more, there will be more attacking lines bowled."

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja doubts that Pakistan has the momentum after its fourth-inning performance in Brisbane, nearly chasing down 490 runs.

"I don't think that matters -- it's a different ground, different conditions, and you can't really measure momentum, can you? I'm not sure if it exists," Khawaja said. "There are always things we can do better, no matter what game, but ... we still won."

Security has been increased at the MCG, where a crowd of 60,000 is expected on Monday, following the arrest of seven people over a terror-related plot in the city. Those charged Friday were allegedly planning to attack Melbourne's Flinders Street train station, nearby Federation Square and St. Paul's Cathedral on Christmas Day.

Also Read: Australia Assures Fans Over Boxing Day Security Fears

Chief police commissioner Graham Ashton said while they are confident the terror plot had been contained, extra police will be deployed at major events.

"We know there's lot of events on over the next several days right across our state, including the Boxing Day Test, Christmas carols, other events that are on," he said.

"There is no intelligence to suggest there is any threat whatsoever in relation to any of those events. However we're just making sure we're taking those extra precautions."

Victoria Police and Cricket Australia were liaising over the appropriate security level.

"Our security team is in contact with the relevant authorities to ensure we have the appropriate level of security at the Boxing Day test and other cricket matches being held around the country," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.

In a security-related move late in 2015, the MCG erected a new perimeter fence about 20 to 25 meters (65 to 80 feet) away from the stadium where spectators queue to pass through security before entering the ground.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
see more