'No good': Smith hits out as MCC defends pitch

If Australia and England were still playing the fourth Ashes Test on New Year's Day, Steve Smith believes the lifeless MCG pitch would still play the same way it did on Boxing Day.

Cricket Victoria boss calls for MCG pitch reboot

Cricket Victoria boss calls for MCG pitch reboot

The flat, slow wicket was widely criticised as an unfit stage for the storied Boxing Day Test match and the Australian skipper joined the chorus of condemnation after the game ended in a draw.

"I think it just needs to do something ... it hasn't changed over five days and I'd say if we were playing for the next couple of days it wouldn't change at all either," Smith said.

"It's got to find a way to have some pace and bounce or take some spin or do something.

"We saw some reverse swing but the ball just gets so soft so quickly because the surface is quite hard.

"It gets soft, doesn't carry through and it's really difficult to get people out.

"I just don't think it's good for anyone."

Wickets have been tough to come by for both sides. Pic: Getty

With the match lacking as a spectacle, Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide went so far as to suggest it might be time to dig up the drop-in wickets and start afresh with new soil and turf.

Ultimate responsibility for the preparation of the MCG wicket falls to venue operators, the Melbourne Cricket Club.

MCC chief executive Stuart Fox defended the preparation of the maligned strip of turf, but conceded it had not performed to expectations.

"While this Test pitch did produce a good contest, it has not contained the bounce and pace that we expected," Fox said.

"As the game progressed, the surface did not deteriorate nor bring the level of unpredictability that was anticipated.

"We review all elements of our performance at the conclusion of every event, and the quality of the pitch is no exception

"Overall, we remain confident and determined to produce portable wickets that generate entertaining Test cricket."

This year's Test draw was only the second in the past 20 years, but the Victoria Bushrangers have played out three Sheffield Shield draws in three games at the venue this season.

The pitch thwarted England's attempts to get a win on day five, but skipper Joe Root was more forgiving than his counterpart.

"It's not an exact science," Root said of pitch preparation.

"As a player all you can do is respond to what's there in front of you and I think we did that.

"Obviously you want to see results and go out and win games, but unfortunately we weren't able to do that."


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