Virat Kohli has smashed three centuries in Tests in Adelaide against Australia. (Image credit: Twitter)
The Adelaide Oval, the venue for the first Test between Australia and India on December 6, might provide an advantage to both teams. According to the curator, the wicket will have some grass and assistance for the bowlers. This is good news for both teams, who have a very good pace attack. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have all shown their class in previous encounters while India has a very good line-up in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. The curator, Damien Hough, believes this will provide an even contest between bat and ball.
"We do the same preparation for red-ball cricket and pink-ball cricket at Shield level. The best way to get an even contest is to leave some grass on there and get that balance between bat and ball. Right now, we really feel that this is where it's at for the pitch," Hough told the Weekend Australian paper.
However, unlike the last three years, the match between Australia and India will be a Day affair and not a Day-Night Test. According to the current ICC Playing Conditions, a home nation can only host a day-night Test match "with the agreement of the Visiting Board" and India confirmed in May 2018 that they want the match played with a traditional red ball. Hough said it made no difference to their preparation.
"We won't do anything differently. The preparation will be the same. The only difference is we get the covers off earlier and we start earlier," Hough added
In 2015, Adelaide hosted the first-ever Pink Ball Day-Night Test between Australia and New Zealand. The match was a huge success with the crowd turning up in great numbers on each day. Australia won the game by three wickets and the match ended in three days. In 2016, they hosted South Africa while in 2017, they played the first-ever Pink Ball Ashes contest against England. All the games were won by Australia.
The venue has been a lucky hunting ground for Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team skipper. His first century was 116 against Australia in the 2011/12 tour but his crowning achievement was centuries in both innings (115,141) in the 2014 Test which almost gave India a famous win. In ODIs, he smashed a brilliant 107 in the 2015 World Cup to give India their sixth win over Pakistan. In Twenty20 Internationals, his highest score of 90 came at this venue against Australia in 2016.