Australian captain Ricky Ponting has sent out a warning to the visiting Englishmen that they will have a hard time on the Gabba pitch, despite their meaty preparation for the Ashes series. The tourists would have played three warm-up matches by the time they arrive to play the first test at Brisbane on November 25th, but Ponting feels even that won't be enough to prepare them for contending with the pace and bounce of the stadium's wicket.
"With just a normal Brisbane wicket, visiting teams find it hard to come to terms with just how different it is up there," Ponting said in the Australian. Our record there is unbelievably good and we want to make sure we continue that on. They'll (England) definitely still find it hard to come to grips with what they're confronted with in Brisbane day one."
England had a game in Perth over the weekend and begin a match in Adelaide on Thursday, before their final warm-up in Hobart the following week. The Gabba pitch has caused much difficulty for batsmen this past season with extreme bounce following an unusually damp spring. New South Wales shot out Queensland for a paltry 75 and 96 in a first-class game a fortnight ago and Sri Lanka were dismissed for 115 by Australia in a one-dayer on Sunday.
Australia's last defeat at the ground came against West Indies in 1988-89. "In my mind it's been the best cricket wicket in Australia for as long as I've been playing the game," Ponting said.