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Australia sending spy to assess Cardiff pitch

Suspicious of an England design in choosing Cardiff for first Test of the Ashes, Australia is sending a spy to the virgin venue to check on the state of pitch in Cardiff.

cricket Updated: Jun 30, 2009 13:19 IST

Suspicious of an England design in choosing Cardiff for first Test of the Ashes, Australia is sending a spy to the virgin venue to check on the state of the pitch in Cardiff.

Ponting believes Cardiff, which has never hosted a Test, has been deliberately chosen ahead of traditional grounds like Old Trafford and Trent Bridge because England want maximum advantage out of the "dry" pitch knowing that Australia lack a front-line spinner.

"Historically, Cardiff has been one wicket around the country that has spun (in county cricket). It's been one of the driest wickets in England. They've probably got a bigger advantage there than anywhere else in the country.

"They know that we haven't got (Shane) Warne any more. They know that spin side of Australian cricket at the moment is probably not what it used to be," Ponting said.

"We've been talking about trying to send someone down to Cardiff this week so we can have a look at what the wicket preparation looks like. That way we can get it into our own minds a little bit earlier as to what to expect," he was quoted as saying by The Australian.

Australia's confusion has been compounded by the contradictory reports about how the new strip will play in the first Test, beginning on July 8.