MCG pitch under scrutiny
The International Cricket Council has slammed the Melbourne pitch used for the Boxing Day Ashes Test between Australia and England.
The series was already over as a contest before a ball was bowled at the iconic MCG but it was not a good advert for Test cricket, with only 24 wickets falling during the five days of action.
Alastair Cook scored an unbeaten double century for the tourists while there were also three-figure scores for Aussie stars David Warner and skipper Steve Smith.
Australia scored 327 and 263-4 declared, with England totalling 491 in their sole knock and match referee Ranjan Madugalle's report was damning of the surface.
"The bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed," it read. "The nature of the pitch did not change over the five days and there was no natural deterioration."
Cricket Australia has 14 days to provide a response to the report.
The final Test of the series gets under way in Sydney on Thursday, with Joe Root’s men hoping for a morale-boosting victory after an arduous trip Down Under.
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.