The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wicket woes for Bangla batsmen

Cairns: A green pitch, promising to help Australia’s formidable pace bowling battery, threatens Bangladesh’s inexperienced batsmen in the second cricket Test starting on Friday.

Groundsman Kevin Mitchell said Wednesday recent wet weather had produced more grass on the wicket than he had expected — and there had not been enough sun to dry the grass.

The pitch will be cut again before the start, but experienced observers said they believed it was almost certain the wicket would be far more lively than the pitch in the first Test in Darwin.

In that game, Bangladesh were skittled for 97 and 178 as they crashed to defeat by an innings and 132 runs.

Australia’s fastest bowler, Brett Lee, was enthusiastic about the prospect of playing on a helpful surface at the Bundaberg Rum Stadium.

“I haven’t seen a nice fast wicket for a while, but this looks as close to a green-top as possible,” Lee said after inspecting the pitch.

Lee would love to open the Australian attack in the historic match — the first Test to be played in the far north Queensland city.

But he knows he will probably have to wait behind senior pacemen Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie, who have just surpassed Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller as Australia’s best opening bowler partnership.

“I’ve made it a goal of mine to be the main bowler for Australia eventually,” Lee said.

“Whether that happens in one, three or five years time... I’m channelling all my emotions and my energy towards that role because there’s nothing better than bowling with the new ball.

“On the flip side, you have to do what’s best for the Australian side and if it’s better for me to bowl first change, then I have to know my role.

“Whether I bowl first or first change, I’m playing for Australia and I’m pumped after seeing that pitch.”

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