Marnus Labuschagne admits he has never seen a Gabba pitch quite like this.
Labuschagne knows the Test venue in Brisbane well, having played for Queensland throughout his domestic career.
The ground is known for its pace and bounce that has unsettled countless touring sides since Australia’s most recent Test loss at the venue, back in 1988.
But it was some uncharacteristic cracks in the pitch for the series-deciding Test between Australia and India that caught the eye of several players.
“The ball did just hold in the wicket and kick up a little bit (on some occasions),” Labuschagne said after making a century on day one.
“I do feel like the wicket is considerably drier than it would be normally.
“Those things could add some value, especially as we go into days two, three, four, five. I haven’t seen a Gabba wicket that’s really up and down.
“But it showed some signs today of a bit of dryness.”
Tim Paine referenced a crack running down the middle after winning the toss.
Nathan Lyon notably walked out to the middle during Friday’s lunch break, keen to inspect what all the fuss was about.
Lyon, who is playing his 100th Test and needs four wickets to reach 400 Test scalps, will likely have a huge role to play in the final innings of the match.
The Gabba traditionally hosts the first Test of the summer.
Curator David Sandurski noted pre-match that staging the series decider in mid-January should not affect the ground’s famed pace and bounce.
Offspinning allrounder Washington Sundar, who claimed the prized scalp of Steve Smith, felt the “wicket was very good” on day one.
“The bowlers did a good job to pick up five wickets,” debutant Sundar said.