0 Paranoid Poms conjure up green MCG monster

MCG curator Cameron Hodgkins was aboard his roller yesterday tending the Boxing Day Test pitch. If he was on the brink of cackling maniacally about the wicked concoction fermenting beneath him - supposedly a virtual expressway that will spirit Australia to a 2-1 Ashes lead - he hid it well.

Only in cricket (and perhaps even then only when it's the Ashes) could there be so much debate over 20 metres of earth that the curator is asked to front the media about how his grass is growing. Hodgkins will do just that tomorrow, and if yesterday's English press clippings are anything to go by, it will be no garden party.

''Tricky Ricky in pitch switch!'' boomed the Daily Mail, backing up with ''Australia skipper Ponting in bouncer plot for the fourth Test''. The Telegraph went with ''Australia change Melbourne pitch to expose England's weaknesses'', while The Guardian, generally reluctant to declare that the sky is falling in, still reported fears of ''an Ashes trap''.

See the rest of the article on the following link:-The Sydney Morning Herald

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