Australia’s star batter Steve Smith labelled Brisbane pitches as the most challenging pitch he has played on in his home country and is hoping conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be more suited to batting.
South Africa were hammered in Brisbane as 34 wickets tumbled in just two days to open the blockbuster series, making it the shortest Test on Australian soil in 91 years.
International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday rated the Brisbane pitch on which the first Test between Australia and South Africa was played as “below average”.
The Australia batter wants to see their batting lineup give more help during the Boxing Day Test.
“As a batter I’d like it to do a little bit less. I think it’s a fine balance just trying to get that even contest between bat and ball. It [the Gabba] was probably the most difficult wicket I’ve played on here in Australia,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Steve Smith as saying.
In his post-match press conference, South Africa captain Dean Elgar criticized the surface as dangerous and asked umpires during the penultimate session if it was safe to continue playing on. Smith admitted that there were times during the game when he was caught off guard.
“I think there were a few instances that the ball did some stuff that was just out of nowhere. Some balls were sitting in the wicket, making divots, some were zinging through and it was just incredibly hard to bat again. Whether it was unsafe or not, it’s not really my place to judge, but it certainly wasn’t easy to bat,” Smith said.
Last year’s Boxing Day Test was called off before lunch on the third day after Scott Boland famously ripped through England’s batting order in the second innings with 6-7 on debut.
However, it was only five years ago that the MCG was given a “bad” grade after a sluggish tie in which only 24 wickets were taken over five days. (ANI)
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