With Australia set to kick-start their home Test season with two-match series against Pakistan, fast-bowling legend Brett Lee has on Wednesday (November 6) called for more sporting pitches for the 5-day format, urging curators to spice up Test wickets that aid fast bowlers as well this summer.
The Australian cricket pitches had received a lot of flak last season, as the curators were criticized for poor pitches which had a lack of assistance for bowlers, as India defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-match Test series to register their maiden Test triumph Down Under.
And even Test captain Tim Paine labelled the pitches which had lack of pace and bounce for India Tests a “disappointment”, claiming that hampered Australia’s star-studded pace attack.
The two iconic grounds in Australia – the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) received the most criticism last summer for the surfaces being too batting friendly – which led Lee to ask for sporting pitches to make the game more exciting.
Lee told AAP, “I’m not saying green tops and spotty wickets, where you knock a team over in a Test match for 120. But you want wickets that keep the bowler interested for the first couple of sessions, even the first day. You want the bowlers to be able to take wickets. You don’t want to see a 650 [runs] play a 580.”
He continued, “Why can’t it be a bowler’s game? I say bugger the batsmen. I mean that tongue in cheek of course. But you want the bowlers to have that interest too. People want to come to the ground to see bowlers beat the bat, play and miss, a couple of chances on the morning of Test cricket.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s first Test and final Test against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively at the Gabba and at the SCG will not be played on drop-in wickets and Lee opined: “It’s when you go to every venue and every venue is a bit like a cookie cutter, starting to look the same. That’s not where we want to be I’d think.”
He signed off by saying, “Good, true sporty wickets - where the ball swung and there was a bit of seam. If you got yourself in, you score runs. That’s Test cricket, that’s what you want to see.”
(With AAP Inputs)