TELFORD VICE, Perth
IF David Warner had anything to do with it WACA groundsman Matt Page wouldn’t get much sleep this week.
“I would like for him to stay on the roller all night,” Australian batsman Warner said ahead of the first test against SA on Thursday.
Warner’s sentiment was based on the performance of the WACA pitch in the test between Australia and New Zealand last November.
Ross Taylor and Warner both scored double centuries and no less fiery a fast bowler than Mitchell Johnson laboured to figures of 1/157 – which dressingroom legend has it prompted him to retire after the match.
And that at a ground that once struck fear into the hearts of batsmen who knew they would face quality fast bowling there.
“When we looked at the wicket last year it was flat and lacked a bit of pace,” Warner said.
“I think in the last few years I’ve been playing here it’s lacked that zip.
“When you see that sheen on the WACA (pitch), you know it will be a fast wicket.
“We’re hoping to see that because we love the contest between bat on ball.
“Hopefully it’s got that sheen.”
On Tuesday the object of Warner’s attention looked green and grassy in the middle of the WACA.
Page will tidy it up before the first ball is bowled on Thursday, and chances are the surface will be faster for what will be Australia’s last test against strong opposition at the famed stadium.
From 2017 tests against teams that are bigger drawcards – sides like SA, England and India – will be played at a new venue being built on the opposite bank of the Swan River to where the WACA stands.
The WACA will still see test cricket, but only when lesser teams are in town.