0 Melbourne pitch switch down to wet Australian summer

Greg Shipperd, Victoria's coach, has blamed an unusually wet Melbourne summer for a switch to a potentially livelier pitch for the crucial Boxing Day Test.

Australia's captain Ricky Ponting is eager for another surface to suit his quartet of aggressive fast bowlers, and negate England's off-spinner Graeme Swann, after their crushing 267-run victory in Perth levelled the Ashes series at 1-1 with two matches to play.

Melbourne's drop-in pitches cannot remotely match the Waca's bounce and pace, but the MCG groundsman, Cameron Hodgkins, opted last week to abandon his original Test surface, in favour of a back-up pitch with more grass cover, which will encourage Ponting to believe that his wishes might be answered.

Shipperd said: "We've had such an unusual summer this year that the grass has spent a lot of time under covers. There are different grass types on the wickets and it has certainly affected some grasses more than others.

See the rest of the article on the following link:-Guardian .co.uk

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