Four years after one of the dullest MCG Tests ever, the Boxing Day pitch promises to be a classic.
Sheffield Shield cricketers are raving about the pitch produced for the contest between Victoria and NSW that finished on Monday.
Blues skipper Kurtis Patterson heaped praise upon the work of MCG curator Matt Page.
“I thought it was one of the best cricket wickets I’ve played on,” the former Test batter said.
“Without a doubt, the best wicket I’ve played on at the MCG.
“I think generally speaking, it’s one of the best cricket wickets.
“I thought he (Page) just nailed the balance between bat and ball.
“Gave the bowlers something the whole time, but if the bowlers missed, then as a batter you were able to score freely.
“I certainly think if he produces something like that for Boxing Day then it’ll be a great spectacle for everyone.”
Since Australia’s famous draw against England in 2017, when the pitch was rated ‘poor’ by the ICC and slammed by both captains and spectators alike, the MCG surface has gradually improved.
The deck still proved to be a major talking point in 2018, but India played the slow wicket to perfection and secured a gritty 137-run win.
A Shield game in late 2019 was even called off due to dangerous variation in bounce, but the Test later that year, and another clash with India in 2020 both produced competitive results.
Victorian quick Scott Boland starred against NSW, taking eight wickets, and liked what he saw.
“We were able to take 20 wickets, which we haven’t done here a lot in the last five years,” Boland said.
“There was also two guys get 90 in the second innings and we had two hundreds in the first innings.
“Really good wicket with carry through the whole day, when a lot of the time on day four there hasn’t been.”