AUS v IND 2018-19: Warne and O'Keefe make interesting predictions on the Boxing Day Test 

Two attritional cricketing days have been observed on a flat but deteriorating MCG pitch so far.

India definitely has an upper hand at the moment | Getty

Shane Warne and Kerry O'Keeffe believe that ongoing Australia versus India Boxing Day Test will eventually spring up with life after attritional first two cricketing days on a flat but deteriorating pitch at the historic MCG.

India declared on 443/7, while Australia ended Day 2 at 8/0 on a surface that has just started to show signs of wear and tear. This is where the two commentators think that the bowling prowess across the two teams can really spice things up and make the game very very interesting. 

The surface began lifeless on Day 1 and only started playing uneven in the afternoon during the fifth and sixth sessions of the encounter. Giving an upper hand to India with all the runs on the board thanks to Cheteshwar Pujara(106), Virat Kohli(82) and Mayank Agarwal(76). 

"I think batting is going to get nasty tomorrow," O’Keeffe said during host broadcaster Fox Sports' show, "[Jasprit] Bumrah is a real factor but there’s up and down."

"It’s going to get lower and lower and it’s the one that goes down one minute and then hits you in the fingers the next, it’s going to cause trouble."

Warne then nodded in agreement over the up and down movement but still expressed satisfaction over how it is playing. 

"I think there will be a result in this pitch. I think there’s enough up and down movement," he said, "but I still would’ve liked to have seen on day one a bit more pace, a bit more seam and the ball to do something for the quickies."

Surfaces may be debatable but there is no doubt MCG still provides the best setting for the iconic Boxing Day Test match. 

Warne, who thinks alike, reiterated that Melbourne should continue hosting the great occasion in wake of claims by Western Australia to be awarded the much-anticipated annual game in upcoming cricketing summers. 

"The Boxing Day Test match is never moving from the mighty MCG, but a couple of options that you could have: You can ship your pitch over if you want and put it across the Nullarbor and get it here at the MCG," Warne said. 

"And if you’re not allowed to do that and you’re not going to give it to Melbourne to do that, well why not flick the lights on and have a day-night Test match here in Melbourne?"

"That could get a few more people in, you might be able to get around 90,000 to have the first ever Boxing Day Test match, a day-nighter under lights," he added. 


By Kashish Chadha - 28 Dec, 2018

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