Perth Test: There will be pace and bounce, says ex-pacer Mitchell Johnson
Debutant stadium will provide a fast and bouncy pitch, says ex-pacer Mitchell Johnson
The Optus Stadium here is all set for a Test debut on Friday when it hosts Game Two of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. And there won't be any shortage of pace, according to former Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson.
"There will be a lot of pace and bounce. The fast bowlers from both teams will have a gala time on this strip which I reckon is the fastest pitch in Australia," said Johnson who played one Big Bash game for Perth Scorchers against Hobart Hurricanes last February at the new ground. Johnson revealed that the new stadium is impressive and can be sighted from the old Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground which is nearby.
Johnson, who first played for Queensland before moving to Western Australia a decade ago, wondered why the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy was not held in Brisbane. Traditionally, the Gabba hosts the first Test of important series and Johnson believed that pitches at Brisbane and Perth always provide an advantage to Australia first up.
Australian coach Justin Langer too felt there would be plenty of pace and bounce in Perth. Meanwhile, former captain Ricky Ponting has backed the hosts' pace attack to fire in Perth. "I think Perth will definitely suit our guys a lot more than the Indian players, but the Aussies need to bounce back pretty quickly," Ponting told cricket.com.au. Ponting said Australia need to find out their shortcomings quickly and learn from them after putting up a poor show in the first Test.
"They played pretty poorly this week and got within 30 runs. And that's not saying India played at their absolute best either, but they're absolutely capable. There's some positives to take from it but they've also got to take a good hard look at what they have done through this game and make sure they do it a lot better." he said.
Another former skipper - Michael Clarke - reckoned that the new stadium's pitch won't be as quick as some of the WACA tracks. He expressed his view in a Sony Six studio discussion (after the Adelaide Test) which also featured batting icon Sunil Gavaskar, who indicated that India would welcome pace and bounce too since they have the ammunition. It can be recalled that Anil Kumble's team beat Australia in Perth on the 2007-08 tour after the Monkeygate scandal in Sydney.
With inputs from agencies and sports desk
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