India vs Australia: Aussie pacers hope for a lively pitch at Melbourne as they aim to take series lead

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) moved to improve the playing surface after receiving the negative rating from the International Cricket Council (ICC) following Australia's last year’s drawn Test against England, when only 24 wickets fell in five days.

Reuters, Dec 21, 2018 15:09:11 IST

Melbourne: As Australia prepares to play a first Test at Melbourne since a docile pitch was given a “poor” rating a year ago, two of the side’s pacemen are expecting a journey into the unknown against India but are hopeful it can produce a competitive match.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) moved to improve the playing surface after receiving the negative rating from the International Cricket Council (ICC) following last year’s drawn Test against England, when only 24 wickets fell in five days.

India vs Australia: Aussie pacers hope for a lively pitch at Melbourne as they aim to take series lead

The Australia-India Melbourne Test starts from 26 December. AP

Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc admitted he did not know how the new pitch would behave ahead of the third Test of the four-match series against India, but team mate Peter Siddle is confident the 26 December Test will at least yield a result.

“I didn’t play last year. I had to watch from the side and it didn’t do a thing for five days, so hopefully they’ve sorted it out,” Starc told reporters of one of cricket’s most iconic venues.

“It sounds like they’ve been trying a few things with the (Sheffield) Shield cricket there in the first few rounds. I think it may be a surprise, what they actually dish out next week.”

New curator Matt Page has tried to inject more life into the ground’s pitches and Siddle was optimistic that the series against India, currently tied at 1-1, would not still be level ahead of the final match in Sydney.

“I played a couple matches ago when I got back from the UAE against South Australia and it was actually a good cricket wicket,” the 34-year-old told sports radio station SEN.

“He (Page) knows what he’s got to do now leading into the Test match.

“It’s going to be a good one and I think the boys should be excited and there’s definitely going to be a result wicket I think, going by what’s happened in the first couple of Shield games this season.”

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 15:09:11 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
6 Sri Lanka 4191 91
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
6 New Zealand 7114 245