Perth has the reputation for being the quickest and bounciest wicket on the planet but I have a feeling we’re going to get a pretty good strip for this third Test.
It’s all well and good people talking about it having plenty of grass on it right now but the only thing that matters is the state of it on the first morning.
These days playing to the strengths of the home side isn’t the only consideration the curator has; TV viewing figures and sponsorship deals are a big part of modern day cricket and preparing a pitch that takes the Test match deep into day five is now part of the job specification.
So once we’ve established we’re likely to get a good track, who will benefit the most from it? The answer has to be the more settled side, with the most in-form players, whose confidence is higher. In other words, England.
I’ve discussed the chopping and changing that’s gone on with Australia already and I’ve been involved in cricket long enough to know that a Mitchell Johnson or a Ben Hilfenhaus could bowl a spell out of the blue that could put the Aussies in the driving seat, just as Peter Siddle did at Brisbane.
But it’s unlikely and Ricky Ponting would need to be fortunate with both the toss and the wicket for a scenario to develop where they could take 20 wickets.
I’ve seen Kevin Pietersen in this sort of form before and all I can say is it spells bad news for the opposition’s bowlers. He feels invincible at the moment right now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him outscore his team-mates again.
Ricky Ponting is under more pressure right now than at any other stage of his career and that could affect his performance out in the middle. But this is his home ground and he looks back to his organised, disciplined, confident best.
He may well come in with not too many runs on the board and therefore not much to beat if England make the most of the new ball.
Back England at 1.94 on the draw/no bet market.
Back Kevin Pietersen to top score for England in the first innings at 5.2
Back Mike Hussey to top score for Australia in the first innings at 5.5
Reproduced with permission from betting.betfair.com. Ã‚Â© The Sporting Exchange Limited
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