New track awaits Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground

December 28th, 2008 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 28 (IANS) Australia will be exposed to a new pitch when they take on South Africa in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting Friday. But SCG curator Tom Parker has predicted that the new pitch will be a traditional Sydney wicket. It’s good news for struggling opener Matthew Hayden and Australia, who have dominated Tests at the SCG in the past decade.

If Hayden gets a nod, only if he manages a good score in the second innings in Melbourne, he would be hoping history to be on his side to keep his career alive here.

Australian Ricky Ponting is the most successful Australian batsman at the SCG with five centuries and an average of 75.41. Hayden has also good record, seventh on the Australian list with an average 55.75.

Parker and his ground staff began focusing on the pitch from Christmas eve.

“We relaid six pitches out here in the middle post-AFL and this is one of them. I think it’s going to be good,” Parker was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

“The last few Test matches we’ve had here have all gone to plan, it’s been a traditional SCG wicket. In the last 10 Tests, we’ve had nine results, which is pretty good,” he added.

Parker said there should be movement for the fast bowlers in the opening session but predicted spin-friendly conditions by day three.

Shane Warne (54 wickets) and Stuart MacGill (53) are the highest wicket takers at the SCG. Michael Clarke was an unlikely match-winner last summer, during the controversial Test against India.

But history favours South Africa at the SCG. They won a Test here in 1993-94, which was Australia’s only loss in 10 Tests at the SCG. So undoubtedly South Africa will be banking to history to clinch the series here.

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