However with such mirth put to one side, the upshot of the result was that the Vics remain winless through five Shield matches this season.
Monday’s events also did little to induce optimism around the much-discussed MCG pitch ahead of this month’s Test match at the ground between Australia and New Zealand.
While Victoria and Queensland produced a thrilling finale at the ground last month, this latest result meant that eight of the last 10 Shield matches there have ended in draws.
The Melbourne Cricket Club had been put on notice two summers ago when the International Cricket Council rated the ‘G’s drop-in pitch for the Boxing Day Test as “poor”.
Last year’s Test wicket was rated “average” however the MCC has undertaken changes to the ground’s square in that time, replacing the concrete slab which housed the ground’s drop-in wickets with a more natural sand and gravel base, bringing the ‘G closer into line with Adelaide Oval and Perth’s Optus Stadium.
There is one more first-class match at the ‘G before Boxing Day with the Vics taking on Western Australia starting from Saturday in round six of the Shield.
Victorian captain Handscomb said it was unrealistic to expect the ‘G’s pitch to deteriorate and instead encouraged Page to leave more grass on the wicket in a bid to enliven a first-class match at the ground.
“It’s the MCG mate, it doesn’t deteriorate,” Handscomb said after the match on Monday, adding that the pitch hadn’t deteriorated enough “to really worry the batters too much.”
“[The] MCG pitch hasn’t deteriorated for 10 years. So I think we need to start making the game accelerate at the start of it, maybe make it a bit greener like it is in Hobart where the game accelerates at the start and then becomes a good batting wicket after that. But that’s up to the groundsman and see how they go,” he said.
“I don’t know, I’m not a groundsman. I don’t know how to make pitches. [But] I think if the game can accelerate at the start it would be ideal.”
Handscomb said he wasn’t sure if Glenn Maxwell would be available to take on WA in what would be the all-rounder’s return to professional cricket following a mental health-related break.
“I’m speaking to him a little bit, just seeing how he is. It’s in his control. It’s up to him and the people he’s working with,” Handscomb said of Maxwell.
Cricket Victoria says Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch will be monitored after being substituted out of the game against the Blues with concussion, leaving him in doubt for the WA clash.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter