Marnus Labuschagne admits pitch at The Gabba was not up to Test cricket standard

Australia batter batsman Marnus Labuschagne has admitted the pitch at The Gabba was not up to the standard for a match in Test cricket after despite the hosts’ defeating South Africa in the first Test of the three-game series.

The first Test between Australia and South Africa was over in just two days after 34 wickets fell with the hosts’ romping to a six-wicket victory on a green pitch which had the same green colour as the outfield.

“No. I think everyone understands that this is not what we want, that’s not the ideal scenario,” he said to SEN Radio show on being asked if the pitch was fit for the match to be played.

“We love the pace of the wicket, we love the bounce, we love two fast bowling attacks going at it, but if we’re going to finish in under two days it’s obviously not ideal for Test cricket. But the reality is we’ve played on probably two of those in the last two years,” he added.

Labuschagne, who plays majorly at The Gabba due to it being the home ground of his state team Queensland, noted that with the quality of bowling attacks on both sides, a better-quality pitch should have been made for the first Test in Brisbane.

“It felt a bit like a Shield game. We’ve played a few Shield games here that have ended in the same way. We’ve seen a fair few wickets like that (at the Gabba), but obviously you don’t have two sides with bowling attacks of four or five guys bowling over 150(km/h), that’s probably the difference.”

“It was just one of those wickets. Unfortunately for the crowd and for the game, we would have liked a longer contest between bat and ball. It certainly was tough when we were out there but that’s how it spun.”

“Test cricket is an endurance battle. Can the batter outlast the bowler? It’s a strategical game and obviously when you play on a wicket like this it brings the match so close together.”

“It becomes a little bit of a lottery about who gets the upper hand on a wicket like that. With such a good bowling attack, they sacrificed a little bit on their batting because they play the four quicks and a spinner. That played into our advantage this game because you probably didn’t need five bowlers on a wicket like that.”

With Australia now 1-0 up in the series, the caravan moves to the MCG for the Boxing Day Test on December 26 and Labuschagne hopes that it provides an even contest for both teams. “Everyone wants the contest in Test cricket so I think the groundsman there is going to make a wicket that goes four to five days.”

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