MCG curator says pitch unlikely to help spinners in Boxing Day Test

December 23rd, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 23 (ANI): The curator at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Cameron Hodgkins, has said that the pitches he prepared for the two Sheffield Shield matches staged at the ground this season offered little for spinners and doubts that the Boxing Day Test wicket would be much different.
Off-spinner Nathan Hauritzs hopes of earning an Aussie recall have been dampened by curator Hodgkins appraisal of how the MCG pitch will play, the Courier Mail reported.
He said with the pitches having more grass than MCG decks of recent seasons, there had been assistance for the quicks but not much for the slow bowlers.
They havent been required to roll their arm over really. What I find is if theres a bit of grass then theres some grip, but we dont dry and crumble, Hodgkins said this morning.
Weve started both our Shield matches under fairly heavy conditions so there hasnt been the sort of atmosphere which leads it to dry out much, so they havent really been asked to do a lot of work. However, Hodgkins noted that with Melbourne having had a cool summer so far, if the temperature rises for the Test it could alter the way the pitch develops throughout the match.
The wickets have been fairly lively (on) day one (in the Shield games) and there hasnt been a lot of cause for a spinner, but a lot of thats been due to the weather, so if we get some dry days then who knows? he said.
Hauritz was the only spinner in the 13-man Australian squad named on Monday, replacing fellow off-spinner Jason Krejza.
The prediction the MCG pitch would better suit the quicker bowlers could be good news for Tasmanian swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, who is in the squad and could make his Test debut. (ANI)

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