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Concerns for SCG pitch ahead of third Australia v South Africa cricket Test after scathing review

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Concerns for SCG pitch ahead of third Australia v South Africa cricket Test after scathing review

BBL star Nic Maddinson launched a withering spray on the SCG pitch just days from the third Test, branding it ‘pretty s**t’.

The 31-year-old Melbourne Renegades captain, who has played three Tests for Australia, could only manage one from eight balls as his team lost by 34 runs to the Sixers on Wednesday night.

The Renegades struggled for any fluency with the bat, being bowled out for a paltry 115 as they failed to chase down Sydney’s modest total of 8/149.

Renegades skipper Nic Maddinson walked off the SCG pitch dejectedly after managing just one from eight deliveries against the Sixers on Wednesday night

Renegades skipper Nic Maddinson walked off the SCG pitch dejectedly after managing just one from eight deliveries against the Sixers on Wednesday night

The third Test between Australia and South Africa begins on January 4, and with the Gabba wicket saved and rated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as below average, the SCG pitch now looks under of the microscope.

The last three BBL matches at the SCG have only seen a paltry average of 139 runs per innings – although it is notable that scores across the tournament have been lower this season.

Maddinson was his usual candid self after the match when he explained exactly why he could only manage 114 on Wednesday night against a powerful Sixers attack.

‘It (the pitch) was pretty s**t, to be honest,’ he said after the game.

‘I thought it was one of the worst T20 wickets I’ve seen for a while, and it’s been a bit like that all competition where we’ve had a bit of a tricky wicket.

‘I don’t think the wickets have been spectacular throughout the competition, and it seems to be a common theme with most teams where the pitches are probably not as quick or consistent as what would probably be desired. them,’ said the furious Maddinson.

The Renegades managed just 114 against the Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Christmas Eve, so it was hard to tell if the captain was venting his frustration on the curators rather than his side.

That said, Sixers prodigy Josh Philippe was the only player to pass 50 in Wednesday’s encounter, with both fast bowlers (Ben Dwarshuis 4/17, Sean Abbott 2/17, Kane Richardson 2/22) and spinner (Mujeeb Ur Rahman 3/ 29) managing to get a lot of help from the pitch.

Both the Sixers’ last two matches since Christmas have used the same pitch, but a different one will be used for the upcoming third Test.

SCG curator Adam Lewis gave the Aussie selectors a subtle hint that he was examining that pitch to perform a bit of rotation.

‘The way our ground is and the way it’s broken up, I’d say it would be good if they went with some spinners,’ he told CODE Sports earlier this week.

‘I think it will take a turn in the next game, but thankfully I’m looking after the pitches and not the team selection.’

Maddinson didn’t exactly agree with that assessment, saying he thought it looked more difficult against the quicks on the pitch used for the BBL.

Nic Maddinson has been scathing about the quality of pitches throughout the BBL tournament, blaming them for the low scores

Nic Maddinson has been scathing about the quality of pitches throughout the BBL tournament, blaming them for the low scores

‘Even in their innings it looked pretty tough apart from Philippe who went after our spinners,’ he said.

‘It looks a bit difficult against the seam bowlers. It’s a worn wicket with some cross cracks and it’s quite patchy and it’s made for some variable bounce and two speeds (bowling).

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‘When you have guys who can bowl 140 (km/h) with good change and good skills, it makes it quite challenging,’ Maddinson said.

At one point during the match, out-of-form veteran Aaron Finch had to be examined by the Renegades’ medical staff when he was hit by a deadly Dwarshuis delivery that was moved both up and sideways quite violently.

Even Dwarshuis, who was named Player of the Match for his four-wicket haul, admitted it wasn’t a good look.

Aaron Finch reacts after being hit by a violent Ben Dwarshuis delivery that even the bowler admits is unsightly on the pitch

Aaron Finch reacts after being hit by a violent Ben Dwarshuis delivery that even the bowler admits is unsightly on the pitch

‘You don’t want to see that,’ said the left-armer.

‘Obviously it’s a bit two-paced, the wicket, and when you’re bowling with the seam a bit scrambled, sometimes it hits the leather and takes away.

‘Fortunately he seems to be okay. I talked to him outside and he said he was fine. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it’s always scary to see things like that,’ said Dwarshuis.

The SCG will not host any more games until the Test, with the Sixers scheduled to host a match against the Heat at North Sydney Oval on January 4.

Rain is expected in the lead-up to the match, with Australia set to make some changes due to finger injuries to Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc.