'Green monster': Hobart pitch sparks Ashes conundrum

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
The Hobart pitch (pictured left) hours before first ball of the fifth Ashes Test and (pictured right) Pat Cummins walking off the field.
The Hobart pitch looks to be a 'green monster' for the fifth Ashes Test and could convince the captains to bowl first. (Images: @lithgowflashman/Getty Images)

Only hours out from the first ball of the final Ashes Test an image of the Hobart Oval pitch prompted a huge call at the toss from England.

Australia and England batters were warned there would be no favours by Blundstone Arena's head curator, who pledged a Sheffield Shield-style green-tinged pitch for the fifth Ashes Test.

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And ahead of the first Test held in Hobart since the 2016 calamity, in which Australia was thumped by South Africa by an innings and 80 runs, an image of the green pitch only hours out from the first ball has raised eyebrows.

The image shows plenty of green and it sparked further importance on winning the toss and electing to bowl first.

Captain Joe Root won the toss and chose to game on fielding first.

Earlier, former Test star Andrew Symonds said the pitch doesn't surprise him after the rain in Hobart.

“If you had have seen the photo I saw earlier this week of the ground, it seriously had two inches of water over it," he said on Fox Cricket.

"So that (the pitch colour) does not surprise me, considering the amount of rain they’ve had down in Tasmania.”

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Former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said it was a huge loss for England to have rested Jimmy Anderson for the final Test.

“Jimmy Anderson is not playing on this wicket and there’s some pressure on these bowlers to get 20 wickets from England,” he added.

“If Joe Root wins the toss and bowls and they have a bad day with no Anderson in this team on that wicket, good luck.”

Pat Cummins walks off the ground as rain falls prior to day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series.
Pat Cummins walks off the ground as rain falls prior to day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The last time Australia played a Test in Hobart, the hosts were rolled for 85 in the first innings and 161 in their second, lasting a combined 93 overs against South Africa.

Adam Voges, Callum Ferguson and Peter Nevill never played another Test, with only David Warner, Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja remaining in Australia's current top seven.

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