No green top or dust bowl, ICC presents Rohit Sharma & Pat Cummins sporting Pitch at Oval
In the history of the Oval, for the first time, it is hosting a Test match in June, making it difficult to predict how the pitch will behave.
Rohit Sharma and Pat Cummins will breathe a sigh of relief. The Oval pitch for IND vs AUS WTC Final is neither dust bowl nor a green top. Rather, it resembles Wankhede with pace and carry with little green tinge. It is going to be an excellent batting wicket provided the team bating first can negate the early swing against Duke ball.
In the history of Test cricket, this is for the first time the Oval will host a Test match in June. Usually, it is at the end of English summer when Tests happen at Kennington Oval with spinners and batters getting more out of the dry surface.
“It is nice to know the pattern of scoring runs here as we know that this is one of the best batting wickets in England. You get value for your shots, the square boundaries are quite quick, and it is about giving yourself the best chance of having success here,” Rohit Sharma said of the Oval pitch.
This time though, it’s different. The pitch sports a green top. With 48 hours left, will the grass be trimmed down or rolled over completely? It’s still unknown.
Considering India’s struggle on green tops and Australia’s struggles on dust bowls, ICC would not want its Ultimate Test to end up in two or three days.
Hence, Oval is expected to be a sporting wicket. However, with the 5th Ashes Test scheduled at the venue from July 27, the pitch is not going to go bald in the next 48 hours.
Will unusual timing break Oval pitch pattern?
Usually, during the beginning of a Test, the Oval behaves typically like other English pitches. It assists seamers early on, making it difficult to bat. An average first-innings score of 269 is a testament to that fact. Batters only average 28.26 in the first innings.
- Average 1st innings score: 269
- Average 2nd innings score: 280
- Avg 3rd innings score: 326
However, as the match progresses, it gets easier to bat on. For the Tests which happened in July, it is one of the best batting surfaces. But will it be the same for an early June Test? It is the answer that everyone is searching for.
Toss to be the key:
India’s struggle against seam is well-documented. If numbers do say anything, the Oval is not a venue where Indian batters have excelled even though India won the last Test at this venue against England in 2021.
Even in a July Test, India were bowled out for just 191 batting first. Hence, it goes without saying that the toss will be key to India’s win. Batting first may decide the outcome of the Test on Day 1.
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