PREVIEW OF ADELAIDE TEST
ADELAIDE OVAL GROUND
The Adelaide Oval remains one of cricket’s most picturesque Test venues, situated amid gardens and trees and with the spire of St Peter’s Cathedral as a backdrop.
The ground opened in 1873 amid bitter local disputes over boundaries and money, and in its early years the pitches were often dreadful. In 1884-85 it staged its first Test.In 1932-33, the Bodyline affair which was directed at Bradman, reached its nadir at The Oval when Bill Woodfull and Bert Oldfield were struck, and on the third day mounted police patrolled to keep the 50,000 spectators in order. Nowadays the pitch is playing true to Australians traditions. The ground also hosts Football, Rugby and other sports besides cricket.
HEAD TO HEAD
India played 12 tests here since 1948 and due to play the First test on 17th December 2020 for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India has won only 2 times here in 2003 & 2018.
Photo courtesy : cricinfo.com
The first win of India at Adelaide came in 2003. Rahul Dravid & V.V.S. Laxman were at it again at Adelaide in 2003-04 series Down Under. At Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2001 they batted together the 4th day of the test after asked to follow-on and they put on 376 runs for the 6th wicket and set up a win for India.
At Adelaide in Dec. 2003 the same duo put on 305 runs for the 5th wicket and set up a good total in the first innings and the roles were reversed at Adelaide. Here Dravid led the role of hitting a magnificent 233 runs and Laxman playing second fiddle with 148 runs. India’s seamer Ajit Agarkar ensured that India didn’t chase a big fourth innings total by claiming 6 scalps for 41 runs in the 2nd innings of Australia and restricting them with a total of 196 . And Dravid with a fluent 72 gave the finishing touches of scoring the winning runs in the 2nd Innings here. When MacGill pitched one short and wide of off stump, Rahul Dravid gave himself room and cut hard. As it sped across the outfield towards the fence in front of the George Giffen stand, he let out a yell of delight. Steve Waugh, the Captain jogged across to pick up the ball from the gutter and he presented it to Dravid, whose 72 not out had glued together a run chase that was anything but straightforward. Incidentally, this was the last series of Steve Waugh. This win also helped India to square the 4 Test series with 1-1.
Rahul Bhattacharya, famous author, in his column in cricinfo wrote like this : The echoes of Kolkata and Adelaide rang down the decade, in far-flung venues and memories, and in notes from cricket watchers to one another.
The second win came at Adelaide in our last outing in the 2018-19 series. It was a Pujara’s show. Dravid recently said “ If somebody scores like Pujara did in 2018-19 either Pujara himself or others, India can win this series (2020-21) “. Such was his dominance in batting in the last series played in Down Under. Notwithstanding what has happened before, he has gone into every innings with the same mindset, and with a readiness for a marathon fight ahead. He has trusted his defence, though it is not foolproof. But above all, it’s his nature that has allowed him to stay on track and get the overseas runs that were evading him. He scored a brilliant century in the first innings followed it up with a fluent 71 runs in the second. And our pace bowlers delivered it. The pace trio of India led by Bumrah, Ishant and Shami and well supported by Ashwin ensured India a win with 31 runs and it also paved the way for India’s FIRST EVER series win in Down Under.
DAY NIGHT TESTS
The ICC showing its concern about dwindling attendance in Tests world over came up with the idea of DAY-NIGHT Test matches with a pink ball. This has shown good results in terms of attendance at Test centres all over the world. And almost all test playing countries have hosted Daynight tests, it has come to stay.
The first ever D/N test was played here between the hosts Australia and New Zealand in November 2015 and won by 3 wickets and Adelaide hosted furthermore 3 tests and Aussies won all the 3 tests.
India did play a D/N test in India at Koltkata in November 2019 against Bangladesh and they steamrolled the Bangla Tigers with an Innings victory with SG Pink balls. It will be a different ball at Adelaide where the Australians use Kookaburra balls and Aussies pace trio headed by Mitchel Stark who is raring to go at Indians ( with 24 wickets in his kitty at Adelaide with pink ball) and ably supported by Pat Cummins and Josh Hazzlewood. Only comfort for Indians may be the absence of David Warner due to a groin injury, who’s the leading scorer with 490 runs here. So, let’s keep fingers crossed till 17th December.