Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney

Curator pitches for fast men at SCG

Peter English at the SCG

January 2, 2010

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Mitchell Johnson tears in during training, Sydney, January 2, 2010
Mitchell Johnson can expect some assistance in Sydney © Getty Images

Heavy rain over the Christmas period has not set back the SCG surface for Sunday's second Test, but the curator predicts there will be more in the surface for the fast men over the first half of the game. Tom Parker, the groundsman, said preparations were on track for the pitch, which was showing deep green tinges on Saturday afternoon following a couple of showers.

"I think you can see a little bit of life in this, especially with the way conditions are today with the humidity in the air, you might see the ball move around a little bit," he said on Saturday. Ricky Ponting is not concerned by the hue and believes the surface will look like a more familiar Sydney pitch after it is mowed on Sunday morning.

The surface is most likely to worry the planning of the Pakistanis, who are considering some serious tinkering to their attack, and it should convince them to avoid employing both Danish Kaneria and Saeed Ajmal. Australia's line-up won't change as their only specialist slow bowler is Nathan Hauritz, who is coming off a maiden first-class five-for in Melbourne.

Parker believed there would be spin, but it would not be significant until later in the contest. "It will always turn at some stage, maybe not as early as it has done in Tests previously, but by the fourth or fifth day definitely."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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