SCG gives up spin bias
SCG curator Tom Parker. Photo: Chris Lane
THERE was a time when Test cricket in Sydney was not far removed from the conditions of the subcontinent but the days of the SCG dust bowl could well be over.
While there is a strong chance both teams will field two spinners for the third Test, it is no longer a prerequisite for success at the venue.
The Australians were taken aback on Tuesday with the amount of green on the Test strip.
But encouragingly, for Sri Lankan batsmen, cricket fans and TV executives eager to avoid another three-day Test, it is unlikely to be a paceman's paradise.
''The sun's belting down today so you don't want it ready to play on today because come match day you will have a pitch that's too overdone, it'll be fine,'' SCG head curator Tom Parker said.
Australian opener Ed Cowan said he would relish facing spin on the SCG ''because I don't think it's going to turn very much''.
''So if Sri Lanka want to play two spinners that's probably to our favour,'' Cowan said.
The SCG has hosted two first-class matches this summer - a rain-affected shield game against Victoria and Australia A's three-day fixture with South Africa in early November. The track for the A-game offered little assistance to the bowlers, while batsmen also had to work hard for runs though they were seldom in danger once settled.
In the shield match, spin claimed only six of the 23 wickets - hardly a ratio in keeping with the SCG's former reputation as the dusty haven for spin bowlers.
''It's not that I didn't like that, but times change, we have a lot more cricket played here now and there are expectations on the presentation of the ground which are different to what they were,'' Parker said. ''We have short changeover periods from our cricket commitments and AFL commitments. You've got to make sure what we do is going to work and for everyone else across the board.''