Paine hoping pitch prayers are answered at Gabba
TIM Paine will hope to look down at the Gabba wicket before the toss for the series-opener against Sri Lanka on Thursday afternoon and breathe a sigh of relief.
Because after a summer at times spent upset about docile tracks he believed suited India's batsmen in the visitors' 2-1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy win, the national captain expects to see a more traditional Australian wicket in Brisbane.
"I hope it's nice and fast, the usual sort of Gabba wicket," Paine said ahead of the day-night Test.
"I saw it just then, looks like it has a bit of grass. Hopefully there's plenty of bounce and it's good to watch.
"It's certainly a Test that the Australian cricket team since I've been around has always looked forward to because our record here is so strong.
"It's nice to be starting a series here and hopefully we can keep that tradition of winning Tests here."
There's a reason why Australia haven't been beaten at the Gabba in two decades. It traditionally suits their game perfectly, with plenty of pace and bounce to let their quicks torment touring batsmen while their own top order work comfortably off both the front and back foot.
"It is the most consistent and enjoyable pitch to play cricket on in the world," Queensland and Australian legend Ian Healy said.
"It's the consistency and what it offers every facet of play. It bounces through so the batsmen have got quite an adjustment period to get used to.
"The quicks quite enjoy that and then spinners come into play either early in the five days and definitely late with spin and bounce to go with it."
Australia's dominance at the Gabba is also rammed home by the fact no team from Asia has ever won a Test at the venue in 13 attempts, with the hosts claiming 10 victories and drawing three games.
Sri Lanka are also yet to win a Test on any ground in Australia in their history, salvaging two draws but copping 11 losses since their first tour in 1989.
"It will be challenging," former Sri Lankan batsman Russel Arnold said.
"Because when under pressure your reactions generally go back to what you always know and that is playing with low hands on pitches that don't bounce too much."