Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been denied a green top at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground in Perth for the first Test match against South Africa starting Dec 17.
Ponting wanted one of the re-laid lively wickets in Perth for the first Test, but his wish was turned down by WACA curator Cam Sutherland
The WACA pitch is one of the fastest in world and Australia's stranglehold on Perth is unchallenged. But in the last Test here, India thrashed Australia and Ponting accepted he was "duped" by the curator.
In that Test, Australia loaded its team for Perth with four quicks, including Shaun Tait, but was disappointed to discover a wicket that was not what had been expected and soon realised it would have been better off with a spinner.
Reports from Perth this year indicate the new strips have been very fiery. Victorian paceman Peter Siddle described the wicket for last week's Shield match as "scary".
The WA side has not picked a specialist spinner all summer.
"We'll use pitch six, which probably doesn't mean a lot to anyone," Sutherland was quoted as saying in The Australian.
"It's been used for a variety of domestic one-dayers and Shield games. We have totally re-laid seven of the 10 and the other three have had a partial re-lay. Only 50mm has been re-laid and re-grassed and six is one of those."
"The new ones will take a couple of years to settle down," he said.
"Obviously Ricky had spoken to JL (Justin Langer) and a couple of the local players," Sutherland said. "The wickets had been quite quick and had seamed a bit in the Shield game, but obviously the Test wicket didn't have as much pace in it as we liked."
Sutherland, however, promised the chosen strip would be better than last year's.
"This is certainly better than last year's one in terms of having some pace in it," he said.
Sutherland brushed off Ponting's suggestion he was "duped" into playing four pace men when three and a spinner may have been more appropriate, saying the captain should have consulted him.