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WACA curator defends his Test pitch
Justin Chadwick
15:24 AEST Tue Nov 27 2012

The WACA pitch was dubbed the Green Monster last summer, and Australia skipper Michael Clarke fears the outcome of the third Test against South Africa will be decided by the coin toss.

But WACA curator Cameron Sutherland insists there is no need to worry, claiming players can expect a fair contest between bat and ball if they pay respect to the conditions.

Clarke was unimpressed with the WACA wicket in September after guiding NSW to an eight-wicket Sheffield Shield victory over Western Australia inside three days.

WA posted scores of 217 and 248 in that match, with NSW making 358 and 2-108.

Clarke is hopeful batters will be handed fairer conditions for the third Test against South Africa, starting Friday.

But Sutherland was quick to defend the pitch he prepared in September, saying he was surprised by Clarke's criticism.

"It rated very good on the umpires match report, and my personal opinion was that it was a very good wicket," Sutherland said on Tuesday.

"It didn't seam a lot. It certainly wasn't won on the toss of a coin, because NSW were 5-128 at one stage.

"They just took their chances better than WA.

"And the ironic thing is Michael scored his highest Shield score of the season on it. He got 78.

"But everyone's entitled to their opinions. I'll just talk to him when he gets here."

Last January, India were skittled for 161 and 171 on a green WACA deck, with Australia needing just two-and-a-half days to win by an innings and 37 runs.

But with cooler temperatures leading into this Test, Sutherland has been able to cut more grass off the wicket, meaning the Green Monster is unlikely to make a return.

"This one certainly won't be as green," said Sutherland, who added he may need to keep the pitch under covers on Wednesday due to forecast rain.

"We think it's going to be a really fair cricket wicket."

South Africa's fighting draw in the second Test in Adelaide ensured the series remains locked at 0-0 heading into the WACA decider.

Australia will shoot to No.1 in the Test rankings should they win in Perth, while South Africa only require a draw to stay at the top of the pile.


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