Australia vs India: SCG curator assures a result pitch for the final Test
The practice game played at the venue was a batting paradise.
Published - Jan 2, 2019 9:23 pm | Updated - Jan 2, 2019 9:23 pm
India will take on Australia in the fourth and final Test of the series at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting Thursday. It is at the same venue that Virat Kohli’s men had played Cricket Australia XI in a practice game ahead of the first Test in Adelaide last month and two centuries and nine fifties were scored at the expense of 22 wickets. However, the ground’s curator, Justin Groves, has assured that it won’t be a batting paradise.
India won’t mind a batting paradise as a minimum of a draw will see them winning their first ever Test series in Australia. The hosts, on the other hand, will be under more pressure to ensure that a result is forced in Sydney in their favour and for that, they will need something less than a perfect batting pitch.
It may be mentioned here that over 1,100 runs were scored in that warm-up game on the surface in early December with an inexperienced CA XI piling up 544 runs in just over 151 overs, making the affairs completely frustrating for the bowlers. For India, even out of form batsmen like Murali Vijay and KL Rahul hit a century and half-century on that pitch in the second innings.
“We’ve had a bit more preparation time for our pitch here. Also, the weather is a lot different too,” Australia’s Newcastle Herald cites agencies quoted Groves as telling the media. “We had a fair bit of rain leading into that tour match, and even during the tour match. We’re now hotter, a bit more humid and our weather is really good for the five days. It’s going to be a lot different to what it was for the tour match.”
Paine has expressed frustration over wickets in this series
Australian captain Tim Paine has not hidden his disappointment over the wickets that have been used for the ongoing series saying that they have gone against the hosts. Australia though won the second Test in Perth, they have been bowled out twice in all three matches, unlike India who declared their innings twice in Melbourne.
Groves also said that the wicket on which the fourth Test will be played will spring a few surprises. According to him, the surface will have a green tinge on the first two days while it will be a bit more unpredictable as the game progresses. Both Kohli and Paine will be looking forward to winning the toss for sure.
While India have included three spinners in their 13-member squad on the eve of the match including an injured Ravichandran Ashwin, batsman-cum-leg-break bowler Marnus Labuschagne is set to play at the SCG to add more power to Australia’s slow-bowling attack.
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