After the Perth pitch rated as average by the International Cricket Council, the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s track has also received the same rating. The Melbourne pitch had received three demerit points when the Ashes Test match was drawn. However, there are no demerit points when the pitch is rated average by the governing body.
According to ICC Rules, a particular venue losses its International status when the demerit tally totals to five demerit points over the course of five years. Meanwhile, the Melbourne track had come under the scrutiny when India scored their runs at a snail’s pace.
Perth rating had not gone down well with former players.
According to a report in Sydney Morning Herald, “The Melbourne Cricket Club’s bid to hold on to the Boxing Day Test has been boosted after the MCG was given an average rating by the International Cricket Council following India’s 137-run win.
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It was a flat wicket on the first two days of the Test match and India made most of the conditions to score 443 runs in the first innings. However, the pitch changed its colours like a chameleon on the third day. On the opening day of the Test match, only two wickets fell. Furthermore, five wickets were taken by Australian bowlers on day two.
However, it was a different story altogether on Day three when as many as 15 wickets were taken. In fact, the pitch started to break a bit as it produced an invariable bounce. Some balls were jetting off from the length whereas some balls kept low and made life difficult for the batsmen.
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According to the newspaper, “Despite this rating, the MCG pitches will undergo a major revamp under curator Matt Page. He had worked diligently to improve the sand base and add moisture after the Ashes debacle but the venue is about to invest in up to four new pitches and greater technology.”
In fact, the Perth pitch had also received an average rating from ICC. However, former players like Michael Vaughan, Sachin Tendulkar, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Warne had criticised the rating.