22 Dec 2010

Cook okay with made to order pitches

10:15 am on 22 December 2010

The England vice-captain Alastair Cook candidly admits wickets are made to order for his side at home and cannot understand the fuss over reports the MCG pitch has been chosen to suit Australia.

Melbourne curator Cameron Hodgkins' decision to use the more moist of two drop-in wickets prepared for Boxing Day has exhumed all the old sparring about pitch doctoring, dating back as far as England off-spinner Jim Laker's dustbowl at Old Trafford in 1956.

Cook noted it was nothing new for England to request a Test match surface that is suited to their team, as happened so dramatically in the final Test of the 2009 series at the Oval, and saw no problem with Australia taking a similar path.

Following a 267-run defeat on a pacy Perth pitch, Cook was not particularly keen to see a similar surface at the MCG, but said he and his teammates were braced for whatever conditions they would face.