So here we are, whinging about the MCG wicket, with little over 2 weeks before the Boxing day Test. Due to the Shield match recently being abandoned due to the pitch being considered dangerous, there are now major concerns around the wicket for Boxing day and there have even been discussions about potentially have a stand-by ground available in need. I mean really?? We are going to move the Boxing day test??? Not on your bloody life will this game be moved.
And so what if the wicket jumped a bit. Guess what batsman, you have a freaken bat, use the bloody thing. Maybe if you hadn’t given up trying to get a decent technique and developing a back foot defence rather than garbage T20 shots you would have been fine!! Funny, I never saw Bradman complain about stuff like this, and he played on uncovered pitches!!! Granted, after the Phil Hughes incident, we are justifiably more cautious when it comes to these sorts of things, but I think the MCG wicket furore has been well and truly blown out of proportion.
The only thing the MCG curator did wrong was put a bit too much water on the wicket in an attempt to bring a bit of life to it. Frustratingly for the curator, due to the AFL having so much sway in this state, they have to rely on drop in wickets at the MCG, which has an impact on the quality of the wickets being able to be produced (Adelaide oval not withstanding). Is it any wonder that some of the best wickets in the country (SCG, Gabba, Manuka) are not drop-ins??
Even if you look at Optus stadium in Perth, it’s not quite up to the standard of the WACA pitch of yesteryear, and that is again because of the nature of the drop in wicket!
Ironically, the MCG has been canned of late due to a couple of poor tests where the batsman have taken control and there has been little life for the bowlers, yet this was also the ground that produced results between the years of 1998-2013! In fact, since 1998, there have only been 2 draws at the bloody venue, so I think the calls of bland and batsman friendly have been overstated a fair bit.
The thing is, the MCG pitch has never really had a ‘type’ in my time of watching cricket. Perth was always fast and bouncy, the Gabba seamed and swung, the SCG spun, Adelaide was a batsman’s paradise and Belrieve oval was just freaken cold. The MCG never really had a special feature to look forward too, other than seeing more people attend on day 1 than every other test venue had attend for a whole test. So I’m not sure why it’s suddenly become a ‘big thing’.
Just let the curator do what he has to do, there’s no problem here. The wicket he’ll produce will be fine and we’ll see enough quality cricket to keep us entertained for 5 days.
And for those wanting to pinch it from us……good bloody luck. Cricket Australia won’t want to piss of us Victorians, as we account for a huge proportion of the seasons attendance!