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'WACA pitch will have plenty of bounce'

Associated Press
Jan 08, 2012 at 12:35pm IST

Perth: The WACA Ground's curator says Australia and India can expect plenty of pace and bounce from the pitch when the third Test begins in Perth on Friday.

Cameron Sutherland said on Sunday he believes the wicket will play similarly to last year's Ashes Test, when pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris shared 18 wickets against England in a 267-run win by Australia.

"We think it will play pretty similar to last year against England, where it had a bit of colour and had a bit of grass on it," Sutherland was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

WACA pitch will have plenty of bounce: Curator

The third Test between India and Australia begins in Perth on Friday.

"It's kind of a different grass we've used over the last couple of years. It's really fine."

"So even if you leave grass on it and it has a bit of colour in it, it doesn't seam excessively. It just gives a bit to the new ball and then it settles into a pretty good batting wicket," he added.

Those conditions may lead Australia to opt for a four-man pace attack and leave out spinner Nathan Lyon, who made little impact in the first two Tests.

Harris and towering paceman Mitchell Starc have been called into the squad, covering the loss of James Pattinson to a foot injury.

India are down 2-0 in the four-match series, with the team's batsmen rattled by Australia's incisive pace attack on the relatively easy tracks of Melbourne and Sydney in the first two Tests.

India star batsman Sachin Tendulkar is still seeking his record 100th international century, having been on 99 since March. Tendulkar is the only India batsman to have scored a Test century at the WACA, although it's not a venue the visitors have played at in recent tours.

Australia coach Mickey Arthur expects India will have problems with the conditions in Perth.

"Certainly in the first innings, they didn't look comfortable," Arthur said of the Sydney Test. "They looked comfortable in the second innings ... (but) this is a wicket (Sydney), and Adelaide, that most resembles the subcontinent."

"The WACA is going to be totally different. There'll be a lot of pace, a lot of bounce. It'll be interesting to see how they go there."

India are expected to make a change to their batting line-up, with Rohit Sharma in line to make his Test debut and replace the struggling Virat Kohli in the middle-order.

"Rohit's had his challenges on wickets that bounce," Arthur said. "He's going to go into a furnace at the WACA because there is going to be bounce there. If he gets the nod, it'll be very interesting."

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