A green pitch has greeted players ahead of the fifth Ashes Test beginning in Hobart on Friday.
Images were posted on social media days out showing plenty of grass on the wicket but with the expectation that it would change considerably before the start of play.
But when the covers were pulled back on Friday it appeared little had changed.
Speaking on Fox Cricket’s coverage of the BBL, Mel Jones remarked: “It is looking green, isn’t it? I wasn’t expecting that green.”
MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs England teams, scorecard, videos, updates
Andrew Symonds then added: “If you had have seen the photo I saw earlier this week of the ground, it seriously had two inches of water over it. So that (the pitch colour) does not surprise me, considering the amount of rain they’ve had down in Tasmania.”
Both commentators said whoever wins the toss will likely bowl first.
Brad Haddin then called out England after report they are set to leave out veteran James Anderson out of the pink-ball Test
“Jimmy Anderson is not playing on this wicket and there’s some pressure on these bowlers to get 20 wickets from England,” he said.
“If Joe Root wins the toss and bowls and they have a bad day with no Anderson in this team on that wicket, good luck.”
Shane Warne, however, said despite the covering of grass the pitch was still relatively flat.
“It looks quite green with a nice covering of grass, but it’s quite flat. So I think both captains if they win the toss would like to bat first, but I reckon they might want to lose it too because there might be a little bit in this early,” Fox Cricket’s Shane Warne said.
BOLAND TIPPED TO PLAY AS BUMPER PAYDAY LOOMS
Australia’s two-Test hero Scott Boland is set for a huge pay rise, while he is tipped to overcome injury to take his place in the fifth Ashes Test.
Boland burst onto the scene at the MCG taking 6-7 in a man-of-the-match display and backed it up in Sydney to have 14 wickets from just two matches in a stellar start to his Test career.
Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.
NEW PODCAST – Crash Craddock: So many storylines, so little time
The Daily Telegraph reported Boland’s heroics in Melbourne and Sydney have secured him a Cricket Australia central contract, which should be upgraded to a big money deal when the contract lists are confirmed in April.
Boland was considered an MCG specialist ahead of his debut, but after starring in Sydney as well and being picked for a day-night Test in Hobart, there is now a feel he can now play in all conditions at home and abroad capping a meteoric rise.
MORE CRICKET NEWS
‘IT’S NO SURPRISE’: Crazy numbers behind Australia’s obsession with cricket this summer
‘BIG FRONT BOARD’: Maxwell sledges Finchy and smacks half-century in massive BBL statement
‘I THINK HE SAW IT COMING’: Uzzie keeps spot as opener dropped; star set to play after fitness test
BIG GUN TO MISS FIFTH TEST AS ENGLAND DEBUT KEEPER
Pace legend James Anderson is set to miss out in the final Ashes Test in Hobart, while Sam Billings will become England player No.700.
The Daily Telegraph UK reported Sydney Thunder player Billings, who drove 500 miles down the East Coast of Australia from his Big Bash duties to link up with the team, will take the wicketkeeping gloves from injured star Jos Buttler.
Despite Anderson’s game being suited to the pink ball and swing friendly conditions under lights, Ollie Robinson, who was rested in Sydney is set to come back into the side in his place.
The ageing Anderson only targeted three Tests this tour and his 1-88 at the SCG looks set to be his final bow in Australia.
Billings’ unlikely rise from white-ball cricketer to red-ball debutant has been welcomed by a jaded England camp, which lost the Ashes 3-0 before producing a spirited draw in Sydney.
Rory Burns is also set to earn a recall at the top of the order in place of Haseeb Hameed, who has struggled for runs since making two starts in the series opener in Brisbane.
There is less certainty around Ben Stokes (side strain) and century hero Jonny Bairstow (chipped thumb), who are both carrying injuries despite being desperate to play in the series finale.
A decision on both players is likely to be left up until the toss on Friday afternoon, with Stokes a chance to play solely as a batsman after two half centuries in Sydney.
Sydney stand in keeper Ollie Pope is on standby for either Stokes or Bairstow in a nod to the future.
Should Stokes not bowl, Chris Woakes will likely replace spinner Jack Leach to give England another seam bowling option.
Australia XI (likely): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon
England XI (likely): Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood
Get all the latest cricket news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!
FOLLOW THE ACTION IN OUR LIVE BLOG BELOW. CAN’T SEE IT? CLICK HERE.