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The surprising way SCG Test is paying tribute to Shane Warne – as pitch stuns Alyssa Healy

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The surprising way SCG Test is paying tribute to Shane Warne – as pitch stuns Alyssa Healy

Revealed: The shocking way the SCG Test paid tribute to Shane Warne – as the pitch stunned experts and Alyssa Healy said ‘I’ve never seen anything like it in my life’

  • Expect the SCG pitch for the Third Test between Australia and South Africa
  • It will be spin friendly for veteran Nathan Lyon as well as the so called Ashton Agar
  • Aussie women’s cricketer Alyssa Healy says SCG deck ‘collapsing fast’
  • Curators using pitch No.3, first time since Shane Warne’s farewell Test in 2007

Many cricket commentators were appalled at the dire state of the SCG pitch ahead of the Third Test versus South Africa – but the wicket also doubled as a tribute to late spin king Shane Warne.

Australian women’s star Alyssa Healy labeled the deck ‘really dry’, feeling it ‘could collapse quickly’ and that she had ‘never seen anything like it in her life’.

Fellow Fox Sports cricket expert Kerry O’Keeffe has tipped the spinners to dominate as the Aussies chase a clean sweep in the series.

In what may have been a nod to Warne, match day officials in Sydney opted to roll out pitch No.3 for the first time since the spin king’s Test farewell in January of 2007.

The wicket sits two to the left of the usual Test pitch No.5 and towards the Bill O’Reilly Stand.

Perhaps in a nod to the late Shane Warne, curators in Sydney chose to roll out pitch No.3 for the first time since the spin king's farewell in January of 2007

Perhaps in a nod to the late Shane Warne, curators in Sydney chose to roll out pitch No.3 for the first time since the spin king’s farewell in January of 2007

‘When we were doing our investigation, we found that Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer had their last Test on pitch No.3,’ said SCG curator Adam Lewis.

‘So in our planning that was in the back of our minds.

‘We tried to get grass to pitch No.5 as best we could, but with the amount of games we’ve had throughout the season, it couldn’t get there in time.

‘Knowing that Shane Warne and the boys had played their last Test at No.3, it just felt right, so we put our energy into it.

‘Shane was really good not just for players, he was always good for curators. He always stood up for us and knew we wore our hearts on our sleeves.’

The ground staff is also hoping that the pitch will provide the turn that Warne has always wanted and enjoyed at the SCG, where he also made his Test debut in 1992 against India.

Australian cricket legend Shane Warne died in Thailand in March aged just 52 after suffering a heart attack

Australian cricket legend Shane Warne died in Thailand in March aged just 52 after suffering a heart attack

Australia have named two spinners to face the Proteas, with Ashton Agar in the XI alongside Nathan Lyon.

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Western Australian Agar last wore his baggy green in 2017.

Previously, Australia had not picked two spinners on home soil since Stephen O’Keefe and Lyon bowled together in the New Year’s Test against Pakistan six years ago.

It has also been confirmed that batsman Matthew Renshaw returned a positive RAT test for Covid before a ball was bowled on day one – but will be replaced in Pat Cummins’ team in the middle order.