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India vs Australia: MCG Curator Dismisses Fears of Lifeless Pitch

The MCG had received heavy criticism from experts for preparing a lifeless pitch for the match against England last year, which was rated ‘poor’ by the ICC.

Cricketnext Staff |December 23, 2018, 11:46 AM IST
India vs Australia: MCG Curator Dismisses Fears of Lifeless Pitch

With the ongoing Test series between India and Australia level at 1-1, the focus has now shifted to the MCG, the venue for the Boxing Day encounter. With the previous two matches — Adelaide and Perth — producing riveting battles between the two nations, there are growing concerns over the MCG pitch and if it’s worthy of producing a close contest or even worse — a result.

The MCG had received heavy criticism from experts for preparing a lifeless pitch for the match against England last year, which was rated ‘poor’ by the ICC.

To add to that, all four Sheffield Shield matches last season were also drawn while two of the three domestic matches this year have ended in stalemates.

But the MCG curator Matthew Page has dismissed any such fears. In fact according to him, there is something for everyone on the wicket.

“We were unlucky not to get a result through losing the last day through rain, but there seemed to be a bit there for everyone,” Page told Cricket.com.au.

“There was a bit for the quicks, a couple of guys scored hundreds, and the feedback we got from that game was really positive.”

In the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and South Australia last month, the average total across the three completed innings was 275, with Tom Cooper and Peter Handscomb scoring tons. On the other hand fast bowler Scott Boland picked nine wickets in the match including a 7/54 in the first innings.

Yet even though the last Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia played at the venue didn’t produce a result, Page is confident that the pitch will produce a result, and that there are lessons learnt from that match.

"We're pretty happy with where it is at the moment," Page said.

"It's just a case of monitoring the weather and then adjusting our plans as we see fit, but we're happy with where it is at and the weather is looking good, so we're in a pretty good spot at the moment."

“We went into that game trying to get it a little bit harder and a little bit drier … and we didn’t get the result we wanted,” he said.

“But we’ll learn from that, we’ll move forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We had three Shield games leading into this and the big plan for us was to play around with a few things to ensure we get it right for Boxing Day.

“We’ve got some things right … and other things we wanted to improve from.”

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2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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