Bowlers to get little help from MCG pitch

Dec 24, 2017 - 4:31 PM England aren't expecting any help from the MCG wicket as they look to salvage some Ashes pride with an upset Boxing Day Test victory.

The touring bowlers have struggled to get much sideways movement with the Kookaburra ball on flatter wickets in Australia than what they're accustomed to on home soil.

It is a pattern that they will struggle to break at the MCG.

"We had a brief look at the surface (on Saturday) and it doesn't look like it's going to do a huge amount," England allrounder Chris Woakes said.

"It looks like a good batting surface, which I'm sure it will be.

"Come (Boxing Day) it looks like it's going to be hot with sunshine, so you'd probably expect it to be a batting paradise.

"Generally all of the wickets have been so far."

Down 3-0 with the prospect of a 5-0 whitewash looming, England's woes were compounded when quick Craig Overton was ruled out with a rib injury.

But the flatness of the MCG pitch isn't just a challenge for the visitors to overcome.

"It hasn't been great the last couple of years for quicks," Australian seamer Josh Hazlewood said.

"It's a very flat wicket, I'd say it's the flattest in Australia.

"It's quite evenly paced, there's no real sideways movement, no real swing and it doesn't spin much.

"You just have to be patient as a bowler and as a bowling group to build that pressure and get your wickets that way."

Source: AAP

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