|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
November 22, 2009
The Gabba's long-time curator, Kevin Mitchell jnr, has recommended that Australia pick a spinner for the first Test against West Indies starting on Thursday because the pitch is likely to deteriorate from the fourth day. That said, Mitchell expected the seam bowlers to exploit the conditions on the opening day, as it has traditionally been at the Gabba.
''If the preparation goes as planned in a five-day Test match you would go in with three quicks and a spinner,'' Mitchell told AAP. ''It will be a fairly typical Gabba Test wicket - maybe a little more life than would be normal early.
''You would generally think it will be pretty good for batting day two and three and wear a bit on day four and five. It will definitely deteriorate as the game goes on.''
In the most recent Sheffield Shield match at the Gabba, between Queensland and Tasmania, the visitors were bundled out for 156 in 63 overs on the opening day and went on to lose by an innings.
''If you get a bit of humidity the ball swings around like the first Shield match,'' Mitchell said. ''[But] in that regard you're in the lap of the Gods.''
The offspinner Nathan Hauritz is the lone specialist slow bowler for the first Test and if he ispicked, Australia will have to drop one of their four specialist seamers. Doug Bollinger, the left-armer, made it to the squad on the strength of his recent ODI performances but his selection is not certain.
Hauritz was omitted for Australia's most recent Test at The Oval and the lack of a specialist spinner played a big part in Australia's defeat, which also cost them the Ashes. Hauritz's counterpart, Graeme Swann, exploited the turning pitch and took eight wickets.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history
Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player
In their pomp, West Indies had a 53-13 win-loss record; in their last 99, it is 16-53. That, in a nutshell, shows how steep the decline has been
Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament
Following the bowling ban on Saeed Ajmal, ESPNcricinfo picks five bowlers Pakistan may replace him with for the time being
The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric
Teams need to start strategising now for next year's event by picking the right men for various roles. England need to get on it sooner than most
The planned reorganisation of their domestic structure should help the region recapture some of the glory it enjoyed in the past
Hundred in a session? Easy peasy for Doug Walters