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Peter English at the SCG
January 2, 2010
News : 'Kaneria doesn't get the respect he deserves' - Yousuf
Preview : Pakistan look to tighten up their act
News : Pakistan rocked by Aamer blow
News : Pakistan's spirit willing, despite Aamer blow
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Features : Winning venue for Australia and Ponting
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Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of Australia
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."
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test