Australia opener Marcus Harris has warned against getting carried away by the grass on the MCG pitch, saying the track does offers runs to those who show patience.
Harris cited example of a Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales on the same pitch, where he thought the match would be over in “a day and a half” but ended up raising an unbeaten 250.
“Pre-match, when I saw the wicket I was really freaked out and I thought ‘this game’s going to be over in a day and a half and we’ve got blokes trying to vie for Test spots, so I went into the game with no expectations on myself and the wicket actually played pretty well,” Harris told ESPNcricinfo. “It was relatively slow and stayed together.”
“I saw this morning the wicket will probably be more similar to the South Australia game, where it had a bit more green grass on it, nipped around a bit but it was one of those wickets where if you play well you can make runs but if you bowl well you can take wickets.”
Harris suggested patience is the virtue to have on the pitch for the Boxing day test, starting Wednesday. “I think it’ll be the same old thing of patience, the MCG is never a really quick scoring ground anyway, so that’ll be the key, just realising things will take a while to evolve; not sure if the wicket will break up too much, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
“Fortunately we’ve probably got the best bowling attack in the world so that looks after itself a little bit, but I think as batters a patience game will be the key and run rates won’t be as quick as what you’d like, but that’s the way it will be.”
MCG curator Matt Page also said that the track will offer something to everyone. “We want to provide an opportunity for everyone. Whether it’s the spinners, it’s the pace bowlers, or the batters. Providing them opportunities to be able to produce their world-class [skills] throughout a game, whether that’s quickies at the front, batters in the middle, spinners towards the end. It’s producing a pitch that everyone can show what they can do.
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