While Australia's fast bowlers are salivating at the thought of tearing into a WACA Ground wicket they believe will further brutalise England's batsmen, former Test opener Justin Langer has weighed in with a word of caution.
The WA coach said he expected the pitch to offer as much of its renowned pace and steepling bounce as ever to help escalate hostilities between world cricket's traditional rivals but believed the bowlers would need to work hard to make it happen.
"I can't wait to see it," Langer said yesterday. "It's going to be really exciting cricket to watch and if the WACA wicket of the last three shield games is anything to go by, it's going to be very entertaining cricket because there is genuine pace and bounce back.
"But the brilliant thing about the WACA is that it's very even and the margin for error for both the batters and the bowlers is quite small.
"If you over-pitch as a bowler, then it's easy to drive on and hit straight back down the ground, and it's a shortish boundary. If you bowl a bit short, it's a great place to cut and pull on, and you get good value for shots because the outfield is like an icerink."
WACA ground staff rolled one of cricket's toughest pitches three times yesterday, with Australia bearing down on a series victory. They went 2-0 up in the five-Test series after winning in Adelaide yesterday.
Langer said the "big cracks" that invariably formed on the WACA clay on days four and five of a Test match mentally taunted batsmen and predicted that WA tearaway Mitchell Johnson would terrorise England's bats- men if he was on song.
"They're cracks like you don't see anywhere else in the world, really, and they're more of a psychological issue," he said.
"When you're looking down the wicket and there's a big crack on a good length, you start getting nervous that you're going to fall down it or the ball is going to play some tricks.
"It was never much fun facing Mitchell in the nets, so I can't imagine it's going to be that much fun for the English batsmen."