Sydney: Australia fears that England will again exploit their weakness against spin after reportedly finding `burn marks` on the re-aligned pitch of the Old Trafford ground ahead of the third Ashes Test, which begins from Thursday.
The venue`s pitch has been re-positioned 90 degrees as part of the redevelopment that has turned the Lancashire ground from the ugly duckling of the English Test circuit to an appealing mix of polish and character.
Although the report said that the tourists, trailing 2-0 in the series and needing to win to avoid its worst losing streak in 126 years, were not surprised to see a dry, cracking wicket to favour spin as the game goes on, they were confused by the few bare patches scattered round the deck.
Stating that the pitch looked like it had been burnt, Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said that he is confident that the marks are not footmarks, although he added that his team is aware that the wickets are going to be reasonable batting decks in the beginning and turn later in the game, like the first two Tests.
However, Haddin said that Australian players could not use the conditions as an excuse and work hard to win the crucial Test at Old Trafford, adding that they did not perform in the way they should have at Lord`s and should be accountable for their mistakes.
Admitting that England is the better cricket team at the moment, Haddin further said that they have to play their best to win at Old Trafford, adding that what they did at Lord`s was unacceptable.
Meanwhile, England`s leading bowler James Anderson has praised the returning Australian batsman David Warner, saying that Warner can be a `very dangerous player` especially if the pitch is flat and not swinging.