Voges confident of fair WACA pitch for 1st test

October 29, 2016

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Australia batsman Adam Voges says the pitch being prepared at the WACA ground for next week’s first cricket test between Australia and South Africa is likely to please both batsmen and bowlers.

Voges played in the Sheffield Shield domestic first-class match between Western Australia and South Australia at the WACA this week and said he expects the test pitch to be similar in character.

South Australia won the match by 10 wickets in the first session on the final day but Voges said the pitch was fair to both batsmen and bowlers.

“There was enough movement there throughout the three days that the bowlers had enough assistance. But as we saw with three hundreds (hit) if you batted well you could score runs as well. I don’t think (the test pitch) will be too dissimilar.”

Australia’s chairman of selectors Rod Marsh was more cautious about the pitch’s likely properties. The former Australia and Western Australia wicketkeeper said the days when WACA pitches were predictable are over.

“You never know what you’re going to get over here anymore. In the past, you knew exactly what you’re going to get,” Marsh said. “I saw that pitch last year and I couldn’t believe it.

“Having played most of my cricket here, I know the ground has changed and all that sort of stuff, but it’s nothing like it used to be.”

Meanwhile, South Africa headed to Perth in a confident mood on Saturday after warm-up matches against a Cricket Australia XI and a South Australian XI.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj said the matches had been extremely beneficial.

“It’s nice to carry some momentum into the matches that are going to follow,” he said. “The batters are looking in good shape and the bowlers are also looking good.”