The Ashes: Seamer-friendly green pitch expected for Boxing Day Test, says MCG pitch curator | Cricket News

“There will be sewing motion for the quick boys. We are counting on that sewing motion soon”; MCG pitch curator Matthew Page tells England and Australia to expect green seam for Boxing Day Test; Australia lead the Ashes series of five 2-0 games

Last updated: 22/12/21 9:27

MCG’s court curator told Australia and England to expect a grippy surface for Boxing Day Test

England can look forward to a green field with help for seamers at the Boxing Day Ashes Test, according to MCG field curator Matthew Page.

Tourists misread the conditions in each of the first two games, leaving Stuart Broad on a Gabba surface that would have been suitable for him, then leaving Jack Leach out on an Adelaide Oval track that suited the spin.

The man in charge of preparing that launch, Damian Hough, even advised England to choose a top just so that his words would fall on deaf ears.

Page is not interested in getting involved in selection matters, but was happy to envision a launch that encourages the movement for peace players. When England last visited Melbourne in 2017/18, Sir Alastair Cook struck a tie with an epic double century, but a similarly slow lead doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

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“We have come a long way for four years, trying to improve the quality of the fields,” said Page.

“We are leaving a lot more grass on them. There is a lot more stitching movement in the fields due to the grass being left over.

“There will be a sewing motion for the fast guys. We count on that sewing motion at the beginning, there will be some rotation but it won’t be huge, I wouldn’t have thought.

England left spinner Jack Leach out of second test in Adelaide and conditions in Melbourne could see him lose again

England left spinner Jack Leach out of second test in Adelaide and conditions in Melbourne could see him lose again

“Australia and England will play who they think will take 20 wickets. They are not in their field, so it is very difficult for me to comment on who they should choose.”

A crowd of around 70,000 is expected at the MCG for Boxing Day, down from the record number in years past, but one of the largest attendances for any event in Australia since the start of Covid.

“Given the sales to date, we expect 70,000,” said Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive Stuart Fox.

“The numbers show that people will be willing to come and if we get 70,000, that’s a pretty significant result in this environment.”


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