MCG pitch serves up Boxing Day snooze fest... again
Barring a complete transformation overnight of the drop-in wicket at the MCG, we are looking at the last two Boxing Day Tests being ruined by pitch preparation.
Many of us around the region and nation would've woken Boxing Day with heads heavy with the ache of overindulgence and there is usually only one cure for that.
More overindulgence on the confines of the couch, watching 22 blokes in white do battle across 22 yards of compacted turf.
Many of us expect to end up in a coma on Boxing Day, usually of the food variety, but the MCG curators did their best to cure insomnia with another dour, lifeless deck.
Is it purely conditions and soil types and curators simply dealing with what they have?
If so it's hard to put too much blame on them.
But if a new drop-in wicket in Perth can produce a Test Match of the quality we saw just over a week ago, surely similarly gripping contests can be replicated elsewhere?
It was staggering to hear the Perth Test pitch had been rated 'average', the lowest pass mark available.
Echoing the thoughts of many, already aired, it was one of the most gripping games in years.
It was pure, gritty, glorious Test cricket.
There was plenty of support for bowlers and batsman had to have real technique, and guts, to survive and score runs.
In a game which continues to tip the scales in favour of batsmen, not only was it refreshing, it was inspiring.
Purists, myself included, had a few goosebumps watching the gripping contest.
This was cricket as we grew up watching it. No one giving an inch, as players battled to combat the conditions, the elements and the opposition.
At its best, there is simply no better sporting contest than Test cricket.
At its worst, which is close to what we've seen at the MCG, supposedly this nation's holy grail of sporting venues, for the past two years, it's a bad ad for the game which unnecessarily strengthens the argument for greater focus on shorter-format cricket.
Granted, the 'G' has been a place batsmen have been able to cash in heavily on in the past.
Ten of the 50 highest scores notched up at the venue have happened in the past 10 years.
Makes sense with the advent of larger bats, smaller fields and, I'll say it again, more lifeless pitches.
Indians have no issue preparing absolute dust bowls for visiting teams to try and wrestle with.
They grow up playing spin bowling like we grow up learning to swim. So the odds are always in their favour on a turning wicket.
The English love preparing a green top that hoops miles.
So why are we so tentative about preparing wickets in Australia that will aide our cause?
Obviously it helps out batsmen with flawed techniques who fail to bat time, but what incentive is there for any aspiring bowler to charge in?