CricketHere’s How SCG Curators Prepared A Pitch In Memorial Of Shane Warne
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The severe condition of the SCG pitch ahead of the Third Test against South Africa has astonished many cricket analysts, but the surface also served as a memorial to late spin master Shane Warne.

The deck was described as “very dry” by Australian women’s star Alyssa Healy, who also believed that it “might break quite rapidly” and that she “had never seen anything like it in her lifetime.”

Kerry O’Keeffe, a fellow cricket pundit for Fox Sports, predicted that the spinners will rule as the Australians sought to sweep the series.

Officials in Sydney chose to play the game on pitch No. 3 for the first time since the spin king’s farewell Test in January 2007, which might be seen as a tribute to Warne.

When we were doing our investigation, we worked out Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer had their final Test on pitch No.3,’ SCG curator Adam Lewis said.

‘So in our planning we had that in the back of our mind.

‘We tried bringing grass in on pitch No.5 as best we could, but with the amount of play we’ve had through the whole season, it just couldn’t get there in time.

‘Knowing that Shane Warne and the guys played their last Test on No.3, it just felt right, so we put our energy into it.

‘Shane was really good not just for players, he was always good for curators. He always stood up for us and knew we wore our heart on our sleeves.’

Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon were both included in Australia’s starting lineup to take on the Proteas as two spinners.

Since Stephen O’Keefe and Lyon bowled in tandem during the New Year’s Test against Pakistan six years ago, Australia had not before selected two spinners on home soil.

Prior to the first ball being bowled on day one, it was revealed that recalled batsman Matthew Renshaw had a positive RAT test for Covid. Despite this, Renshaw will play in the middle order for Pat Cummins’ squad.