December 24, 2010

Melbourne Test 2010-11

The perfect Paul Collingwood pitch?

Alan Tyers and Jarrod Kimber
Paul Collingwood boots the turf after falling to Ryan Harris off the last ball of the day, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day, December 18, 2010
In Melbourne he’ll be kissing it  © Getty Images
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Jarrod Kimber writes I’ve never understood why people complain pitches are doctored by home teams. Of course they are. If a groundsman is making a pitch and he tries to make it fair to the opposition, he is a traitor. The only fair punishment for him is to be flattened by the roller while a bloated commentator no one likes sticks a key in him. If the ICC really wanted neutral pitches it would send out neutral groundsmen, or drop-in groundsmen as they call them in Australia. The good news for English cricket fans is, the MCG can’t be doctored. It is by definition a slow, dull, tennis ball-bounce pitch that not even a cricket CEO would like. You could drop in a block of ice and the MCG would turn it into a turgid square, where bowlers struggle and batsmen can’t get timing. The perfect Paul Collingwood pitch.

Alan Tyers writes As any fule kno, the best and loudest recent complaints about a home side doctoring a pitch were made in 2009, when Australia whined that England had prepared a dusty turner (good player, DF “Dusty” Turner, took a lot of wickets for Northants) at The Oval. Showing that their sense of humour goes much further than simply the lavatory or a man hitting another man over the head with a marsupial, Australia then decided not to pick a spinner, even as they simultaneously protested about how the pitch was going to spin, spin, spin. The result, of course, was a 150-over workload for occasional batsman North, M and the loss of the Ashes.

Weirdly Australia seem not to have learned from this, and instead of preparing a deck that will give them the best chance of winning (spicy) they will present England with a Christmas pudding that should give the tourists the quiet, stabilising draw they need before Graeme Swann spins them to victory in Sydney. You really are too kind, mine host.

Jarrod replies I never said it would be lifeless, just that it would be like Paul Collingwood. Trust an Englishman to think draw. I said it was undoctored, didn’t say it will be a draw. There will be a result and I doubt Australians will look soft when 90,000 screaming drunks are abusing the English players.

Alan replies Of course, the Aussies are denying that they even asked the groundsman to cook the books a bit. Ten years ago they would have thought nothing of manipulating the conditions into their favour by any means necessary. It seems almost sweet that they are too ashamed to try. The lifeless pitch at the MCG is just one more piece of evidence to support the theory that Australia have gone soft.

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Posted by manny on (December 25, 2010, 13:43 GMT)

Wonder why Monty is not being considered. Alongwith Swan the two would make life very difficult for the Aussies by keeping the presssure up from both sides. Also Monty always comes good on the big stage.

Posted by Naveed on (December 24, 2010, 19:14 GMT)

Australia should have tried harder to prepare a lively pitch on MCG. If they lose this match because of lack of bounce and pace, there will be no one to blame than themselves.

Posted by Rauf Turkmen on (December 24, 2010, 15:14 GMT)

We should have bowling friendly pitches in test cricket if we do not want to lose cricket lovers intrest, I would like to watch test for five days but I would like to have atleast a result in the end of the day. producing results in test cricket will keep test cricket alive other wise many people would not like to watch each innings over 600 runs and a draw.

Posted by Philip Grieveson on (December 24, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

Back to normality at the MCG... Collingwood I'm sure will thrive being a good Durham bloke. He's not going to let a bad run affect him. He's made of steel and his fielding and positive vibe will push England to victory. The key to England's retention of the ashes is Graeme Swann. The Waca didn't offer him anything; however the MCG and especially the SCG will ensure that England come out on top. The 6 batsmen and Prior at 7 give Australia no hope of rolling England over like they did in Perth. As long as the guys hold their nerve it will be a 3-1 victory for England

Posted by Farrukh Ali on (December 24, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

The pitch might be lifeless , but its a norm at MCG . Still last decades we see that almost every match has given a result. Also to an extent that the results have been one sided. Australia have the momentum in their bowling department from the last test match and if the batting clicks then ,we have a match on our hands . So lets wait and see ...

Posted by Mainak Gupta on (December 24, 2010, 4:30 GMT)

Nowadays, we see many pitches which are the bowler's nightmare. Consequently, the pitches produced at Adelaide and WACA are welcome as bowlers are given a chance to perform. I don't know whether the ICC have the right to push curators to produce sporting pitches but they should.

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