New Perth Test venue to imitate the WACA

New Perth Test venue to imitate the WACA

Pace and bounce: Perth Stadium to imitate WACA for inaugural Test

Perth has a new Test wicket but spinners who feared the WACA shouldn't hold their breath for a change in fortunes.

That's the message from Brett Sipthorpe, who is responsible for producing the Perth Stadium pitch ahead of next month's Test between Australia and India.

Camera IconCurator Brett Sipthorpe hopes the new Perth Stadium wicket will feature similar characteristics to the WACA.Picture: AAP Image/Richard WainwrightOptus StadiumNew Perth Test venue to imitate the WACAJustin Chadwick and Rob ForsaithAAP November 26, 2018 6:06PM TopicsAustralian Cricket TeamCricketPerth has a new Test wicket, but spinners who feared the WACA shouldn't be holding their breath for a change in fortunes.

Western Australia will host NSW in the first-ever Sheffield Shield match at Perth Stadium this week, with both sides unsure how the deck will play.

The drop-in wicket has displayed good pace and bounce in the handful of one-day and T20 matches played there over the past year.

"Hopefully we see some of the old-school cracking that we used to see across the road. It would be good to know if it's going to do that over an extended period."

Sipthorpe, who previously worked as the curator of Basin Reserve and Westpac Stadium for nine years in Wellington, predicts the new Perth Stadium wicket will carry the same characteristics as the pace-friendly WACA.

"The ODI had some really good pace and bounce in it," Sipthorpe said in reference to South Africa's win over Australia in Perth earlier this month.

"The mandate is for pace and bounce, and that's what I'll be attempting to achieve," Sipthorpe said.

Sipthorpe, who took up the new post of WACA and Perth Stadium curator 11 weeks ago, said this week's Shield match was a good test to see how the deck fared.

"A good spinner will take wickets, but it certainly won't be something that spinners will relish when they get here."

That's the message from Brett Sipthorpe, who is in charge of producing the Perth Stadium pitch ahead of next month's Test between Australia and India.

Australia and India will lock horns at the 60,000-seat venue in the second Test of the four-match series on December 14.

Western Australia will host NSW in the first ever Sheffield Shield match at Perth Stadium this week, with both sides unsure of how the deck will play.

Sipthorpe, who took up the new post of WACA and Perth Stadium curator 11 weeks ago, said this week's Shield match at the stadium was a good test to see how the deck fared.

"Hopefully this one bounces and flies for the first couple of days, and then starts to get a bit interesting with some cracking.

"The ODI had some really good pace and bounce in it," Sipthorpe said in reference to South Africa's win over Australia in Perth earlier this month.

"A good spinner will take wickets, but it certainly won't be something that spinners will relish when they get here."

"Hopefully this one bounces and flies for the first couple of days, and then starts to get a bit interesting with some cracking.

The drop-in wicket has displayed good pace and bounce in the handful of one-day and T20 matches played there over the past year.

"Hopefully we see some of the old-school cracking that we used to see across the road. It would be good to know if it's going to do that over an extended period."

Australia and India will lock horns at Perth Stadium in the second Test of the four-match series, starting on December 14.

"Usually you go over and it's a lot of home-ground advantage for WA at the WACA, but not so this game."

"The mandate is for pace and bounce, and that's what I'll be attempting to achieve," Sipthorpe said.

The majority of Australias 14-man Test squad will be in action for their respective states, as a final outing before the series opener against India in Adelaide next week.

"Usually you go over and it's a lot of home-ground advantage for WA at the WACA, but not so this game."

And theres still spots up for grabs in the Australian side that could be answered in the domestic competition.

Round 5 of the Shield kicks off on Tuesday around the country, and heres who will be playing for a baggy green.

Travis Head is the incumbent in the middle order for the Australian Test team but hes got a fight on his hands to retain the spot.

Head is locked in a battle with Victorian batsman Peter Handscomb and the final decision could come down to how the pair go in this Shield round.

Head scored a 72 and a 36 against Pakistan in the UAE but is far from a certainty to remain in the side against India.

He scored an 87 in his last Shield outing against Western Australia but will need another score against Tasmania to ensure his selection.

Australian captain Tim Paine will have the perfect view of Heads innings in Hobart – from behind the stumps.

Paines spot in the Test side is locked in but hell be keen to spend some time in the middle against the red ball if he gets the chance.

This game is the most intriguing of the Shield round in terms of implications for the Test team next week.

Peter Handscomb could well play himself into a baggy green if he can put a score on Queensland. Hes fighting it out with Travis Head for Australias middle order spot.

Handscomb hasnt played a Test since March but is in the mix to be recalled. He already has one Shield century to his name this season, and another could cement his spot.

Then theres his Victorian teammate Aaron Finch. Finch is basically guaranteed a spot in Australias batting line-up, and it should be in the top two.

Finchs form in limited overs cricket over the past month has been uninspiring, and hell be keen to get stuck into the red ball and spend some time at the crease.

Marcus Harris will open the batting for the Vics, and he will probably do the same for Australia next week when he dons his first baggy green. Harris has been in stellar touch in the Sheffield Shield this season and its been rewarded.

Usman Khawaja is the other top-order batsman in action at The Gabba. It will be between he, Harris, and Finch as to who opens for Australia in Adelaide. It is Khawajas first match since returning from the UAE injured.

Victorian quicks Peter Siddle and Chris Tremain are also in Australias Test squad, but are unlikely to feature in the first match.

NSWs all-star pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood will not feature in this match, as they rest ahead of the Test opener.

But their teammate Nathan Lyon will be in action in Perth. And he will be bowling to a couple of his Test teammates.

Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh will be in action for Western Australia as their final outing before the Adelaide Test next week.

The majority of Australias 14-man Test squad will be in action for their respective states, as a final outing before the series opener against India in Adelaide next week.

And theres still spots up for grabs in the Australian side that could be answered in the domestic competition.

Round 5 of the Shield kicks off on Tuesday around the country, and heres who will be playing for a baggy green.

Travis Head is the incumbent in the middle order for the Australian Test team but hes got a fight on his hands to retain the spot.

Head is locked in a battle with Victorian batsman Peter Handscomb and the final decision could come down to how the pair go in this Shield round.

Head scored a 72 and a 36 against Pakistan in the UAE but is far from a certainty to remain in the side against India.

He scored an 87 in his last Shield outing against Western Australia but will need another score against Tasmania to ensure his selection.

Australian captain Tim Paine will have the perfect view of Heads innings in Hobart – from behind the stumps.

Paines spot in the Test side is locked in but hell be keen to spend some time in the middle against the red ball if he gets the chance.

This game is the most intriguing of the Shield round in terms of implications for the Test team next week.

Peter Handscomb could well play himself into a baggy green if he can put a score on Queensland. Hes fighting it out with Travis Head for Australias middle order spot.

Handscomb hasnt played a Test since March but is in the mix to be recalled. He already has one Shield century to his name this season, and another could cement his spot.

Then theres his Victorian teammate Aaron Finch. Finch is basically guaranteed a spot in Australias batting line-up, and it should be in the top two.

Finchs form in limited overs cricket over the past month has been uninspiring, and hell be keen to get stuck into the red ball and spend some time at the crease.

Marcus Harris will open the batting for the Vics, and he will probably do the same for Australia next week when he dons his first baggy green. Harris has been in stellar touch in the Sheffield Shield this season and its been rewarded.

Usman Khawaja is the other top-order batsman in action at The Gabba. It will be between he, Harris, and Finch as to who opens for Australia in Adelaide. It is Khawajas first match since returning from the UAE injured.

Victorian quicks Peter Siddle and Chris Tremain are also in Australias Test squad, but are unlikely to feature in the first match.

NSWs all-star pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood will not feature in this match, as they rest ahead of the Test opener.

But their teammate Nathan Lyon will be in action in Perth. And he will be bowling to a couple of his Test teammates.

Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh will be in action for Western Australia as their final outing before the Adelaide Test next week.

The make-up of Australias final Test XI for next weeks series opener against India in Adelaide remains unclear. Most notably the opening positions and one middle-order spot.

Debutant Marcus Harris is considered most likely to open the batting but exactly who with remains a mystery. Aaron Finch is the obviously choice, but Victorias insistence on playing him in the middle order at Sheffield Shield level has caused a stir higher up.

Ponting, however, believes Harris and Finch is the best combination at the top of Australias order.

Ponting agrees with his former teammate Shane Warne that Victoria should move Finch to the top of the order for Round 5 of the Shield this week.

Victoria dont want to break up their opening partnership – I think they should for Aaron Finchs benefit, Ponting told cricket.com.au.

If the coach asked Aaron Finch where hed rather bat, Im sure hed say hed want to open.

Finch is a bit of an anomaly really that the last few years hes done most of his batting for Victoria in the middle order. Then because they go to the UAE where conditions probably werent going to be that new-ball friendly they gave him the chance to open.

Ponting has put Usman Khawaja at No.3 in his Test XI, despite the fact the Queensland opened the batting with Finch during the UAE tour.

The other spot with a question mark over it is the one Peter Handscomb and Travis Head are currently competing for.

Australia is expected to pick either Handscomb or Head – not both – for the remaining middle-order position for next weeks Test.

Fresh from a five-wicket haul and Steve Smith pep talk, legspinner Dan Fallins wont be short of confidence while confronting Indias star-studded batting order this week.

Fallins has a golden chance to showcase his talent playing for an inexperienced Cricket Australia XI in the four-day game at the SCG that starts on Wednesday.

It will be the only tour game that Virat Kohlis team play before starting their four-Test series against Australia at Adelaide Oval next week.

Fallins cant wait, having snagged the prized scalp of Joe Root while taking 5-73 on first-class debut for the CA XI against England in the equivalent match last year.

He has recently been regularly picking the brain of suspended former Test skipper Smith while playing with their Sydney club Sutherland.

Ive got to treat him like another club cricketer. Thats the approach I took last year. They were the best club cricketers from England, now theyre the best club cricketers from India. I can get them out.

Ive got to put enough pressure on him (Kohli), bowl enough good balls and if I can get him it might send a shock wave through the rest of the team.

Fallins was squeezed out of NSWs Sheffield Shield side following Test offspinner Nathan Lyons return but the 22-year-old is highly regarded at the SCG.

The tweaker, who gives the ball an almighty rip, snared 5-80 in grade cricket on Saturday then 3-29 in a T20 for Sutherland on Sunday.

Conversations with Smith on the weekend inevitably turned to the likes of Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.

He just backed me, told me my best ball is good enough to get Test players out, Fallins recalled.

He just said stick to it, back myself. Theres nothing too tricky, were not playing in Indian conditions.

Having Steve around has been great. Itll take my game awareness to the next level if I can absorb everything he says and bounce ideas off him.

Having Shane Watson around the past few seasons has also been great … I can ask them what should I do in this situation and theyre always happy to help.

We batted for a day and a half … we ground them into the dirt and showed that even us blokes not playing Shield are high-quality players.

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