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No Test pitch monster in Hobart: curator

No “green eyed monster” lies in wait for the wounded West Indies in the first Test against Australia – just plenty of runs, Hobart curator Marcus Pamplin says.

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Despite the Bellerive Oval deck still boasting a distinct green tinge on Test eve, Pamplin played down talk that batsmen would be treading on a minefield.

Asked if speculation over a raging green top had been blown out of proportion, Pamplin said: “I think so.

“I think the ball will come right through to the batsmen.

“It will be pretty tough for the first session but then it will be a nice batting track.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they bat first whoever wins the toss.”

Pamplin said he had prepared the same wicket in which Test keeper Peter Nevill stroked an unbeaten 235 for NSW in February in their Sheffield Shield win by an innings over Tasmania.

He said the last Shield clash in Hobart barely a fortnight ago would also provide a clue to what to expect this week.

In that match, Tasmania lost the toss and sent South Australia in – the Redbacks were 3-441 by stumps on the first day on their way to a 302-run win.

“It’s very similar to pitches in Shield games. I reckon the Shield games have been a tad greener,” Pamplin said.

“I reckon we’ve had the most centuries here in Shield cricket and we’ve all had results too (this season).

“It just goes to show the ball is really coming on to the bat, with a lot of range for shots, and the outfield is really quick.”

In the last Tasmania-SA Shield clash, neither side picked spinners.

But Pamplin predicted Australian offie Nathan Lyon – celebrating his 50th Test – would still be a factor at Hobart against the Windies.

“We used this pitch last season against NSW and Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe took a lot of wickets in the second innings,” he said of Lyon (4-75 match figures) and O’Keefe (3-45).

“And to prove there was still a lot of pace in it, Doug Bollinger (7-94 match figures) got wickets as well.

“And there was a lot of runs scored – I think Peter Nevill scored 230 (sic).”

Pamplin said he had not felt pressure to produce a result wicket to ensure interest in a Hobart Test.

“Not really. We are just trying to produce the best wicket we can and hopefully it goes four, five days,” he said.

Canberra is believed to be poised to replace Hobart as a Test venue if the Windies clash attracts poor crowds.

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