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Sport Cricket Australia plays down concerns over MCG pitch ahead of Boxing Day

10:10  07 december  2019
10:10  07 december  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Matt Page offers insights into pitch preparation for the Boxing Day Test (2:06). The nature of the MCG pitch is under intense scrutiny ahead of the Boxing Day Test, with a distinctly Meanwhile, Langer, a native of Western Australia who played much of his domestic cricket at the WACA ground

Highly-scrutinised track expected to provide strong contest for upcoming Boxing Day Test. Martin Smith at the MCG . “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 of the Vic-WA match where 31 wickets fell over four days .

Cricket Australia officials have attempted to allay fears over the MCG pitch after play was abandoned on day one of the Sheffield Shield match at the venue.

a field of grass© Getty Images

Victoria had earlier won the toss and bowled, with Western Australia 3/89 in the 40th over.

Shaun Marsh was hit by a sharply rising Peter Siddle delivery, before Marcus Stoinis copped the same from Andrew Fekete.

Umpires called a stop to play, requesting the groundstaff roll the wicket before deciding to abandon play following another inspection.

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Play has been suspended in a dramatic Sheffield Shield clash at the MCG because of dangerous pitch conditions. Western Australia batsmen Shaun Marsh, Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis were all hit by deliveries from Victoria’s pacemen, which rose sharply and unexpectedly on a lively day -one deck.

With the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand less than three weeks away, Cricket Australia released a statement playing down concerns over the wicket at the iconic ground.

CA's head of cricket operations Peter Roach pointed out that a different pitch would be used for the clash with the Black Caps.

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  MCG pitch debacle: Perth ready to pounce on Boxing Day Test The reputation of the fabled ground took another hit after the Sheffield Shield game between Victoria and Western Australia was abandoned due to safety concerns.The reputation of the fabled ground took another hit on Sunday after the Sheffield Shield game between Victoria and Western Australia was abandoned due to safety concerns, ratcheting up the pressure on ground staff to produce a decent surface for this year's Test against New Zealand.

Cricket Australia said it would work closely with MCG staff to ensure the best possible track is prepared for Boxing Day . "We're very disappointed at today's play being abandoned," said CA's head of cricket operations Peter Roach, while noting that two previous Shield matches had been played at

Criticism about the MCG pitch peaked a year ago, when the venue was officially put on notice by the International Cricket Council for its "poor" pitch . The MCG has since attempted to make its deck more lively but recent evidence suggests it will be a far more batsman-friendly venue than Perth.

"We’re very disappointed at today’s play being abandoned in the Marsh Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia," Roach said.

"But we also acknowledge that there have been two previous Shield matches at the MCG this season without incident.

"Matt Page and the MCG groundstaff have more than two weeks to ensure the Test surface, which is a different pitch strip to the one being used in this match, is of international standard.

"We will seek to better understand the issues that resulted in variable bounce at the MCG on Saturday. We will also work closely with MCG groundstaff in the lead up to the Test match."

The pitch in Melbourne has come under plenty of fire in recent years, with the strip used for the 2017 Boxing Day Test being graded as 'poor' by the ICC.

Despite much talk in the build up, similar criticisms were aired during last year's match against India.

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"We will evaluate Ashwin over the next 48 hours, Rohit looks good and has made good improvement Unless Shastri was playing mind games to keep the Aussies guessing, the chances of Mayank Don't get fooled by grass on MCG pitch : Marcus Harris. India vs Australia : Rating Perth pitch as 'average'

An MCG pitch labelled the flattest in Australia is proving true to form in the Boxing Day Test. "People want to see entertaining cricket , especially in an iconic Test match like the Boxing Day Test "We've had drop-ins here for 19 years and we've only had one draw we've got no concerns

Expect that pre-game focus on the wicket to ramp up again over the next few weeks following Saturday's debacle.

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