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Adelaide promises a result

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For the first three and a half days at the Gabba, England were in the contest. They matched Australia and there were moments when they were in the ascendancy. However, they let Australia off the hook when the hosts were 209/7 in the first innings and allowed them to post 328. In England’s second innings, they got into a reasonable position before their tail was blown away by Mitchell Starc.

The action now shifts to the Adelaide Oval, the venue for the second Test, which will be a Day-Night affair. Australia have won their previous two Day-Night Tests at Adelaide, against New Zealand and South Africa in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

In spite of that, the Adelaide Oval will provide England’s best chance to square the series and register a win. The conditions are likely to favour seam and swing, the strength of England’s new ball pairing of James Anderson and Stuart Broad

Australia have played 75 Tests at Adelaide; they have won 39, lost 17 and drawn 19. Their Win-Loss ratio of 2.29 at Adelaide is their second-best Win-Loss ratio amongst home grounds that have featured a minimum of 15 Tests. Against England at this ground, Australia have played 31 Tests and won 17 Tests, lost 9 and drawn 5.

The first Test at Adelaide was held in 1884. It has since hosted the third most Tests in Australia after the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground. It is considered one of the most pictureseque grounds in cricket and has the longest straight boundary in the world.

 

In Australia, the various Test grounds have different characteristics. The Gabba and the WACA would have a lot of pace and bounce, while the SCG is known to take a bit of turn. The Adelaide Oval is considered to be the best batting surface in Australia and usually witnesses high scoring contests. Over the last 5 Tests, the average first innings score is 371, which goes up to 441 when you discount the 2 Day-Night Tests. Prior to the two Day-Night Tests, the teams batting first have scored in excess of 500 in the first innings of the match in 3 Tests. So it is clearly a batting paradise and the bowlers have their work cut out.

 

The team winning the toss has elected to bat on 67 out of the 75 occasions. Out of the 56 Tests with a decisive result, the team winning the toss has won 30, while the team batting first has won on 35 occasions out of the 56. This indicates that even though it is a batting friendly pitch, the team batting second doesn’t have a huge disadvantage.

There have been 179 centuries scored at this ground, out of which 102 are by Australians while visiting batsmen have scored 77. English batsmen have accounted for 29 of these. Donald Bradman registered the highest score by an Australian with an unbeaten 299 while Kevin Pietersen has made the highest score by an Englishman with 227.

Australian bowlers have taken 62 five wicket hauls at this venue while visiting bowers have taken 44, out of which English bowlers have taken 16. The best bowling figures in an innings by an Australian bowler is 8/43 by Albert Trott while the best by an Englishman is 8/126 by Jack White.

Here are three of the most exciting matches at Adelaide from this millennium.

Australia vs India, 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 12th to 16th December 2003

Australia won the toss and elected to bat. The wicket had nothing in it for the bowlers and Australia piled on the runs, scoring 400 runs on the first day itself. They were finally dismissed for 556, Ricky Ponting leading the way with an imperious 242.

In reply, India were tottering at 85/4 when Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman came to their rescue in a partnership which was reminiscent of their epic partnership at Kolkata in 2001. They put on a magnificent 303 for the fifth wicket with Rahul Dravid scoring 233 and Laxman scoring 148. India were dismissed for 523, giving Australia a lead of 33.

In their second innings, Australia were reeling at 44/3 before Steve Waugh and Damien Martyn tried to take their team out of trouble. However, Sachin Tendulkar had both the batsmen brilliantly caught by Dravid in the slips with his innocuous leg-spin. Gilchrist tried to counter-attack but was bowled round his legs by Kumble.

Australia were bowled out for 196 and India needed 230 to win and take a 1-0 lead in the 4 Test series. Dravid once again led the way with an unbeaten 72 as India won by 4 wickets. This is one of India’s most memorable overseas Test victories. Rahul Dravid was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Australia vs England, 2nd Test, Ashes, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 1st to 5th December 2006

England took advantage of good conditions and amassed a mammoth 551/6 before declaring, with Paul Collingwood scoring 206 and Kevin Pietersen contributing 158. In reply, Australia were bowled out for 513 with Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke scoring 142 and 124 respectively.

The match looked to be heading for a draw but Australia had other ideas. In the first session of the final day, England inexplicably went into their shell and scored just 30 runs off 28 overs in the entire session. They were bowled out just at the stroke of tea for 129 leaving the Aussies to score 168 for victory. They knocked off the runs in just 32.5 overs for the loss of 4 wickets with Michael Hussey remaining unbeaten on 61. Ricky Ponting was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Australia vs England, 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3rd to 7th December 2010

Australia batted first, as was customary for most teams at the Adelaide Oval. They capitulated to the English bowling, with James Anderson taking 4 wickets. Mike Hussey was the top scorer with 93 and though Shane Watson and Brad Haddin both contributed fifties, Australia ended up with a below par 245.

England pressed home the advantage with Kevin Pietersen grinding the Aussie bowlers into the dust with a belligerent 227 and Alastair Cook supporting him with a patient 148. England scored 620/5 before declaring their innings with a lead of 375.

Australia put up a better show in their second innings with Clarke leading the way with 80. However, they were bowled out for 304 to lose by an innings and 71 runs. Pietersen was adjudged the Man of the Match.

 

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