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|11-01-2012, 08:32 AM||#1 (permalink)|
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Aus v India 3rd Test : WACA green top has India at fever pitch
WACA green top has India at fever pitch
Rahul Dravid practices his shots on the green Test wicket during Indian team training at the WACA in Perth. Picture: Phil Hillyard Source: The Daily Telegraph
A SEVERE bout of green fever swept the WACA Ground as a traumatised Indian cricket team was shocked by the sight of a grassy wicket.
It's pitch perfect for Australia to select four quick bowlers and rest spinner Nathan Lyon.
Indian captain M.S. Dhoni, who rarely looks at wickets before match eve, made a solo visit to the block to see one of the most-heavily grassed wickets prepared at the ground.
He looked down stonefaced for about 15 seconds as he prodded the pitch with his hands.
It was the first time in memory a Test strip was greener than the outfield.
When Indian batsman Rahul Dravid was on his way to the wicket yesterday, a teammate gave him a playful hug and suggested he go no further.
When he reached the wicket, Dravid quipped to the groundstaff: "So you didn't get the email?"
When they replied, "What email?" he said, "The one which said take the grass off the wicket."
Several Indians asked groundstaff how much grass would be taken off the wicket, because they loathed seaming conditions.
Curator Cam Sutherland will give it a haircut today or tomorrow, but it will not be a short back and sides.
There is a strong chance Australia will scrap its plan to play Lyon and promote Mitchell Starc into a four-man pace attack.
WACA experts Adam Gilchrist and Tom Moody yesterday said there was no easy answer to the selection dilemma. Gilchrist always played a spinner in Perth.
But then Gilchrist always played with Shane Warne.
Moody would happily play four fast bowlers at the WACA Ground, but only if they were suited to the demanding breeze.
"I find it difficult to be totally balanced in this because the spin bowling option the Australian team had when I played was Shane Warne," Gilchrist told the Herald Sun yesterday.
"The balance of the side without (allrounder) Shane Watson there creates a heavy workload for the quick guys so maybe they need one (a spinner)."
Moody has spent much of his cricketing life at the WACA Ground as a player and, more recently, coach after a successful stint mentoring Sri Lanka.
"Four fast bowlers can work, there's no question about that," Moody said.
"In Australia's case, it helps that Ben Hilfenhaus in particular has a shortish run-up and he gets through his overs quickly.
"We were timing him during the last couple of Tests and he can bowl an over in 2 1/2 to three minutes. This means the pressure of over rates is not as great.
"The key to the WACA has always been finding the right style of bowler to bowl from the appropriate ends."
WACA green top has India at fever pitch | Herald Sun
|11-01-2012, 09:49 AM||#3 (permalink)|
On a walkabout
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