India vs Australia: High-scoring Adelaide Oval the stage for first Test

India has won one, lost seven and drawn three Tests at the Adelaide Oval, the high-scoring stage of the first Test of the upcoming series against Australia.

The Adelaide Oval is a multi-purpose stadium in Adelaide that continues to host cricket, Australian rules football (AFL) and rugby, among other sports.   -  Getty Images

Adelaide Oval is one of the oldest cricketing venues, not just in Australia, but around the world. Established in 1873, it hosted its first Test in 1884. It’s a multi-purpose stadium that continues to host Australian rules football (AFL) and rugby, among other sports.

Because it’s a multi-purpose stadium, a drop-in pitch is currently used here. Batsmen tend to enjoy batting at this venue and, compared to other Australian grounds, the scores are high here in all three formats.

The straight boundaries are much longer than the square boundaries, and batsmen are forced to earn their runs by running well between the wickets if bowlers bowl full and force them to hit down the ground.

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India’s record at Adelaide Oval

India has played 11 Tests at the Adelaide Oval, winning one, losing seven and drawing three.

Its last Test at this venue came in December 2014, when a Virat Kohli-led team threatened to chase down 364 against an Australian bowling attack comprising Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon. A lower-order collapse denied India from recording a spectacular victory.

Eleven years earlier, though, a Sourav Ganguly-led India put in a backs-to-the-wall performance to beat Steve Waugh’s Australia after it had amassed 556 batting first, with Ricky Ponting making a double hundred. India responded by making 523 in its first innings, with Rahul Dravid scoring 233 and V.V.S. Laxman scoring 148 in a fourth-wicket partnership of 303 to help India recover from being 85 for four.

Ajit Agarkar turned around the match with a fiery spell of fast bowling in the second innings, taking six for 41 and helping India bowl out Australia for 196. Set a target of 230 to win, Dravid made an unbeaten 72 and fittingly, hit the winning runs; going down on one knee, he cut the ball through point for a four.

In terms of performances, these two matches at Adelaide rank as two of India’s better ones in overseas conditions.