Ashes 2017-18: Melbourne pitch under scanner after drawn encounter

Melbourne Test ended in a draw.

The pitch was under cover after rain ended play on Day 5. (Getty)

The Melbourne Cricket Club has said it will carry a full review of the drop-in pitch used for the fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England after complaints it produced a dull match.

The game ended in a draw after reports of uneven bounce in the pitch broke through. On field umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and S Ravi took charge of the situation and finally the Test match ended in a draw after rain played a spoilsport.

"That's as flat a wicket as you'll ever see - another four days and it would be exactly the same,'' England captain Joe Root said.

"We did everything we could on a very flat wicket that was not offering the bowlers very much at all.''

"I just think it just needs to do something, it hasn't changed over five days and I'd say if we were playing for the next couple of days it probably wouldn't change at all either,'' he said.

"It's got to find a way to have some pace or bounce or take some spin or do something.

The MCC responded to the complaints with a statement saying it had been using drop-in pitches for 20 years and while it was rare for matches to end in draws, it would carry out a full review.

"While this Test pitch did produce a good contest, it has not contained the pace and bounce that we expected,'' MCC chief executive Stuart Fox said.”As the game progressed, the surface did not deteriorate nor bring the level of unpredictability that was anticipated. We review all elements of our performance at the conclusion of every event, and the quality of the pitch is no exception”.

"We will take on board feedback from the players, umpires and cricket bodies, as well as our own observations. Our new head curator, Matthew Page, will take on pitch preparation duties in the coming weeks and we look forward to his input. Overall, we remain confident and determined to produce portable wickets that generate entertaining Test cricket. Portable pitches have been used at the MCG for more than 20 years and drawn Tests have been a rarity in that time.'' concluded the MCC.


By Anshuman Roy - 30 Dec, 2017

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