on air now

Brad Hodge reveals the extent of the dangerous MCG pitch

Article image for Brad Hodge reveals the extent of the dangerous MCG pitch

Victoria caretaker coach Brad Hodge has revealed what he believes has gone wrong with the MCG pitch which brought play to a halt midway through day one of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia.

Play was stopped in the 40th over with the visitors on 3/89 after a number of batsmen including Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were struck multiple times on the body by the unpredictable bounce of the ball.

Stumps were called at 4pm (AEDT) after no further play took place placing doubt over preparations for the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand.

Cricket Australia have confirmed the pitch used for the Shield clash is a different one to the one being prepared for Boxing Day.

Hodge has only just taken over as caretaker coach of Victoria following former coach Andrew McDonald’s appointment to the Australian coaching ranks told The Cricket Show he believes curator Matt Page hasn’t got the wicket quite right.

“Unfortunately after Lunch the ball just started to rear through the top of the surface or get some extra bounce which wasn’t comfortable for the batsmen,” Hodge said.

“Hopefully they find something to resurrect this pitch and get a result.

“I think what’s happened is it’s maybe not going completely through the top but taking some moisture out.

“I really think that he’s (Page) searching to get this wicket perfectly right.

“Last week on day one it was really good, but then it just flattened out.

“I think he’s tried a few things with the moisture levels but hasn’t got the recipe right today.”

An inspection will take place on Sunday morning prior to play being scheduled to begin at 10am (AEDT).


Click ‘play’ to hear the full discussion:

Scott Barbour/Getty Images.