MCG ground staff needed to listen to Jimmy Anderson
At the end of day 1 and the first day of the MCG Ashes test last year, Jimmy Anderson was interviewed. He was scathing on the pitch, but 12 months later not much had changed.
Leading into the boxing day test of 2018, two men were under a lot of pressure. One was Ravi Shastri, who had come into the Indian set up with a big 12 months ahead of him, and a chance of not having a job in 2 weeks time. The other was the MCG curator Matthew Page, whose pitch last year was up there with the most boring cricket wicket's ever produced.
If Page had any problems remembering what people thought of last years wicket, he only had to to look and listen to what Jimmy Anderson had to say shortly after walking off the MCG on boxing day 12 months prior.
"People want to see entertaining cricket, especially in an iconic Test match like the Boxing Day Test match at the MCG," Anderson said
"I know it wasn't exciting to watch. It wasn't exciting to play in, to be honest, when it's that attritional."
Anderson was right. But not only was he right about the borefest on the opening day, but also the borefest on the following 4 days. If it was a timeless test you wouldn't bet against Alastair Cook still being at the crease now. He didn't look like getting out, and this wasn't the Alastair Cook of his prime either.
By day 5 Steve Smith had belted out another century, taking his average for the last 4 MCG tests to 251.00. His turkey would have tasted just a little dry this year knowing he was missing out on playing in what's become a great way to work off his extra serving of Christmas lunch by running up and down the MCG wicket many times over the last couple of years.
With India's two best batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli at the crease, India should be thinking of a score of 500 late on day 2 of the test.