Spin the verdict on pitch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Spin the verdict on pitch

By Michael Donaldson 06/03/2004 11:02:44 PM Comments (0)

Spin, spin and more spin.

That's the unsurprising verdict on the pitch for Australia's the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium starting on Monday.

The Australians on Saturday got their first look at the brown, grassless strip as it baked in searing heat.

"There's no question the wicket is what we expected," coach John Buchanan said.

"It doesn't really have much grass on it and it will turn virtually from ball one and that turn will increase as the game goes along."

Buchanan was uncertain how the pitch would play over five days, with the lack of grass likely to produce plenty cracks, lots of dust and uneven bounce.

"With no grass on it, there's a question on how long the wicket will actually hold together," Buchanan said.

"It will certainly offer a lot to spin bowlers but it can offer something to fast bowlers as well - reverse swing and possibly variation in height and pace but that's guess-work really.

"Overall we've been quite pleased with the one-day wickets - they've generally played a little bit better than we thought, whether this one does or not I couldn't really hazard a guess."

He said the make-up of Australia's first Test team was no closer to being resolved with the main dilemma being over the mix of spinners and pace bowlers.

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