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Friday, December 30, 2011

Expect a fast track at SCG: curator

Done in by pace and movement during the opening Test against Australia , the Indian cricket team is unlikely to get much respite in the second match as well with the pitch curator promising a track which will initially aid fast bowlers.

SCG curator Tom Parker said the pitch he is preparing would favour fast bowlers on the opening day before settling down and turning later.
A year ago, Australia registered a first-day score of 134/4 on a rain-marred first day en route to an innings defeat to England
"I was happy with that (pitch for the game against England) and I was happy with the previous year's as well (against Pakistan)," Parker told ESPNcricinfo.
"The last two years we've really got it together and it has really come up well. I'm hoping to have a pitch somewhat similar to that.
"That's the ideal scenario and that's what we're aiming for. I don't see why that won't happen. The weather's been kind to me and the forecast is for hot sunny days in the lead-up to the Test and the first couple of days of the Test, so I don't see why it shouldn't be perfect for us," he added.
India lost the opening Test by 122 runs and Australian pacers played a crucial role in triggering the visiting team's batting collapses.
It has been raining here but Parker said it won't affect the preparation of the pitch at the SCG, where the India-Australia match will be the 100th Test played.
"There's been a lot of rain around but we have the covers on as well; we've had a lot of matches up to date and it hasn't affected our preparation too much on the centre," Parker said.
"The thing that's been a bit of a downfall for us is the overcast conditions more than the rain.
"The hours of direct sunlight have been fairly minimal on several days, and that's been a bit of a pain as far as grass growth goes. In saying that, the outfield's in tip-top condition, as is the centre square," he added.
Parker said he would ensure a sporting track, which has something for everyone -- pacers, spinners and batsmen.
"That's what I've always aimed for. It has always been my goal to produce pitches with an even coverage of grass and pitches that were going to play consistently over the period of the match. We've got that mix pretty well right now.
"As long as you're going into the match with great preparation and good grass coverage, nice even moisture throughout the pitch, it usually pays off and the pitch will play consistently," he added.

Australia fortifies their pace attack with Harris inclusion

Australia brought Ryan Harris into their squad for the second Test against India on Friday, adding a fourth pace option a day after bowling their way to victory in the opening match against the tourists.
The injury-prone Harris joins James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus in the 12-man party for the second match in the four-Test series, which starts on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.