Ashes 2013-14: Brisbane pitch holds no terrors

20 November 2013 10:28 AM

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Australia have not lost at the Gabba for 25 years, but the pitch will be more conducive to spin than normal, which is potentially good news for England and Graeme Swann.

Australia will probably field their own spinner in Nathan Lyon, but England will be confident Swann will outperform his opposite number.

Brisbane's pitch is traditionally fast and bouncy, but a batsman's paradise once established. That has suited Australia far more than their opponents in the last quarter of a century.

Groundsman Kevin Mitchell jr said: "I think the challenge will be less for the English this time because they have guys who have been here before and the nucleus of the team have had success here before.

And Mitchell warned Australia should expect another England run spree - they scored 517-1 three years ago - if they did not strike early with the ball.

"It did tend to flatten out a bit (in 2010). This will have a bit more pace and bounce," he said.

"But if you don't take your opportunities with the ball early and drop catches it is going to be a long time in the field."

Sky Sports expert David Gower said: "In home conditions, Australia tend to know a little bit more about it than visiting teams who can come to the Gabba a bit cold if they haven't had a great warm up.

"It is slightly alien conditions and there's normally a bit of bounce in the pitch and that's often enough to get home players up and running. England, last time, weren't up to speed for the first couple of days but they got away with it by making 1,000s in the second innings but you can't rely on that all of the time.

"But let's face it - everyone tends to feel their way into the series a little bit. If it does click into place, as it did in 1986-87, then that's absolutely great. If it takes a day or two longer, then you just have to work around it."

Australian captain Michael Clarke hinted that Lyon would play, saying: "I think it is going to offer pace and bounce for the bowlers, and that includes spin."

Aussie opener David Warner hopes the pitch will play on the England player's minds.

"They think too much about the bounce and the pace, and a little bit of sideways movement," he said.

"I don't think you have anything to fear when you walk out here but if you think about it, it does cloud your mind and judgement."

Source: 1.skysports.com

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