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Tuesday, 11 December 2012






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First of Three Tests begin on Friday:

Lankans hoping for a good wicket and not a ‘green monster’

After a encouraging performance in Canberra, the Sri Lanka cricketers arrived in Hobart looking confident and after a little rest got down to training at the nets, determined to register that elusive first-ever Test triumph against Australia.

The cause for alarm for the Lankan cricketers is the uncertain nature of the wicket at the Belllerive Oval in Hobart. Matches played on these wickets have not been batting friendly and bowlers have revelled with games finishing inside the distance.

The wicket was dubbed the ‘green monster’ after the Test against New Zealand and Australia. It will be a calamity if the Test was to end inside the distance. It will not do cricket any good. So the Lankans are hoping for a good surface.

‘The Incredible Hulk’

The curator who prepared that deck was Marcus Pamplin which wicket was also dubbed ‘the Incredible Hulk’. However Pamplin has over looked the resurfacing of the blocks of wickets at the Bellerive Oval.

Cricket Australia’s Senior Manager of cricket operations, Sean Cary, is confident the venue for the First of Three Tests will provide a more even balance in the contest between bat and ball. In a recent Sheffield Shield game here Western Australia was bundled out for 67.

Speaking to the ‘Canberra Times’, Cary said: ‘Tassie curator Marcus Pamplin has learnt a lot from preparing his wickets this year on a completely new block. The whole wicket block was re-laid in August this year.

‘He’s had to manage new soil, clay and rye grass that take months to settle while preparing wickets for first-class cricket. CA has taken a back seat monitoring process over the last few weeks and is very confident of Marcus Pamplin’s skills and expertise.

Working extensively

‘He takes great pride in his work and has been working extensively on the Test wicket to ensure it provides an even contest. Over the last couple of months Marcus has been meticulous in the surface preparation to ensure it is even and void of undulations.

‘The new look block has provided bowlers with more bounce and carry than the Bellerive pitch, and this is due to the rye grass and the new clay mix. However, the new wicket has also shown that when batsmen apply themselves early, runs can be scored when they get in’, said Cory. The Lankans have played Ten Test matches against Australia losing eight with two games ending in stalemates. They are hoping for a wicket that will allow good cricket to be played so that they could probe for that elusive first Test win on Australian soil.

Jayewardene sparkles

Prasanna Jayewardene who sparkled with a confidence boosting innings before the First of Three Test matches in Hobart on Friday, spoke in glowing terms of former Captain Kumar Sangakkara who scored 55 in the game against the Chairman’s X1 which ended on Sunday at the Manuka Oval, in Canberra.

He’s a brilliant player and he can always come good at the top level. He batted really well in that game and I think he’s in form now. The senior players, when the big occasion comes along will deliver. We need the best from them.

Sangakkara did not bat in the form he is capable of in the Test series against New Zealand. Sangakkara’s failure helped the New Zealanders to win the Second Test at the P. Sara after being convincingly beaten in the First Test in Galle.

When asked whether the Lankans will go in with medium pace or spin, Jayewardene said it will depend on the wicket. The Selectors will go down to the Bellerive Oval wicket and have a look. ‘We hope to field a good side with a good attitude’.



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