Australia Star national cricket team batsman Marnus labuschagnewho is the No. 1 batsman in the ICC Men’s Test batting rankings, has stated that the pitch at The Gabba in Brisbane was “not ideal” for Test cricket.
The pitch produced for the first Test between Australia and South Africa gave too much support to the bowlers. Overall they fell 34 wickets in under 145 overs in the match. South Africa gave a small target of 34 to Australia and as they chased it down, the Aussies lost four wickets in 7 overs as the match ended in two days.
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Australia National Cricket Team captain Pat Cummins said the surface at The Gabba was “fine”, but Marnus Labuschagne acknowledged the pitch was not up to scratch.
“I think everyone understands that this is not what we want, that is not the ideal scenario,” he told SEN.
“We love the wicket pace, we love the bounce, we love the two fast bowling attacks, but if we’re going to be done in less than two days, it’s obviously not ideal for Test cricket. But the reality is we’ve probably played in two of those in the last two years.”
It felt a bit like a Shield game – Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne further said that both Australia and South Africa have high quality bowling attacks and called for better bowling.
“It felt a bit like a Shield game. We’ve seen some wickets like that (at the Gabba) but obviously, you don’t have two sides bowling attacks of four or five players at 150+ (km/h), that’s probably the difference.
“Test cricket is a battle of endurance. Can the batter outlive the pitcher? It’s a strategic game and obviously when you play into a wicket like this it makes the match very close.”
Marnus Labuschagne added that South Africa erred by fielding a four pacer and one spinner combination as there was no need for five proper bowlers on the Brisbane ground.
“It becomes a kind of lottery as to who has the advantage at a wicket like that. With such a good bowling attack, they sacrificed their batting a bit because they play the fast four and a spinner. That played to our advantage in this game because you probably didn’t need five bowlers in a wicket like that.”
Meanwhile, Australia national cricket team Test vice-captain Steve Smith called the pitch in the first Test “probably the most challenging wicket” he has ever seen in Australia.
“It was like there were different areas of moisture on the wicket so some balls would get dented and slowly come out of the wicket, others would hit harder parts of the wicket and whiz past,” Smith told cricket.com.au.
“So once those soft spots are hit, you create some chops as well. You would have seen a lot of the balls hit the chops and throw low or fly out, so as a hitter it’s very difficult to play against him.”
Also Read: AUS vs SA: ‘Don’t see it as a fair competition’: South Africa captain Dean Elgar on Brisbane pitch after facing defeat within 2 days in first Test
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