Pitch report: The Adelaide Oval
Ends: City End, Cathedral End
Home Team: South Australia
Head Groundsman: Damian Hough
Test History: 73 Tests: 37 home wins, 17 away wins, 19 draws
Last 10 Tests: 6 home wins, 1 away win, 3 draws
Last 10 Tosses: 10 batted first (3 wins, 3 draws, 4 defeats)
Set among gardens and trees and with the spire of St Peter's Cathedral peeking over the grandstands, the Adelaide Oval has a strangely English feel for an Australian cricket ground.
Upgrades to the Oval this decade, including a large grandstand which boosted capacity to 50,000, were carried out with due respect for the famous scoreboard – and it remains one of cricket's most picturesque grounds.
Adelaide has played host to the first ever day-night Test, between Australia and New Zealand in November 2015.
The ground also hosts Australian Rules Football, archery, athletics, baseball, cycling, hockey, lacrosse and soccer, among other smaller sports.
Last Time Out
The most recent Test here was in mid-December 2014, when Australia and India contested a heated and emotional match, the first of that series and the first after the death of Phillip Hughes. It was a niggly Test, which the hosts won by 48 runs late on day five.
Australia won because India collapsed completely in the final session, losing a whopping eight wickets after they had seemed to be heading for a draw. Lyon took seven wickets in that innings.
Australia won the toss and opted to bat, as is usually the case here, and made 517/7 declared. David Warner, Michael Clarke, and Steve Smith all scored centuries, while all the India bowlers were punished.
India then made 444 all out, with Virat Kohli's century the highlight. Lyon took five wickets in this innings too, leaving the hosts with a handy lead. They then added 290 for five before declaring again.
India thus needed 364 runs, or to survive the day. They seemed well on track to do that, thanks to 99 from Murali Vijay and 141 from Kohli. They were at the crease at tea, India two down. But then Lyon ripped them up to record his best Test figures.
Australia captain Steve Smith on the pitch for the day-night Test: "There's probably a little bit more grass than I anticipated to be on it. I think it is going to be a good Test match for us. I think the facilities here are outstanding, I think the wicket is going to be a little bit more difficult perhaps than the Shield match, but I don't think the conditions will be too dissimilar, so hopefully we can see a good five days of Test cricket."
Spinner Nathan Lyon this week: "There’s a little bit more there for everyone; it won't be a typical flat Adelaide pitch that we are used to. In saying that we played here a couple of weeks ago and it was the perfect wicket."
India captain Virat Kohli after the above Test: "I strongly believe both teams played with the same kind of attitude, and that's why the crowd loved it as well. And all the players involved in the Test match enjoyed it as well. That's what we play cricket for. There's no point in having draws with both teams scoring 700 runs each. It has to be exciting, it has to be result-oriented, and I enjoyed it a lot. I will probably rank this as the best Test I have been part of, especially because it's overseas for us."
Happy Hunting Ground
Of the current Australia players, David Warner has the most runs at this ground, scoring 555 runs in four Tests, including three centuries. None of the players in this team faced New Zealand here, back in 2008.
Bowling-wise, Nathan Lyon is the best of the current lot, now that Mitchell Johnson has retired. Lyon has 24 wickets in four Tests, thanks to his 12 wickets against India.
The Black Caps have three players left from that 2008 match, with Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum, and Tim Southee featuring. Only McCullum's futile 84 is worth mentioning.
Day one has some cloud cover, but none of the days, bar day five again, should see actual rain. If they do reach day five, the weather could turn in the afternoon.
Well… we don't actually know how this match is going to go. They've left a ton of grass on the deck, to protect the ball. The ball is a relatively unknown quantity. Playing under lights with a fading ball will prove challenging.
One suspects the toss-winning skipper will bat first, to get settled before the lights come on in the middle session. And the deck will flatten out as the game goes on and the grass fades, bringing the spinners into it a bit more.
In conclusion, it's going to be fascinating. And brand new for all involved.
On This Day in 2010: England beat Australia to win ICC World Twenty20 title
Craig Kieswetter (63) and Kevin Pietersen (47) led the charge to a victory which came with three full overs to spare.
England handed injury scare after Jofra Archer was unable to bowl for Sussex
The 26-year-old did not bowl during day three of his side’s LV= Insurance County Championship match with Kent due to a sore elbow.
Keith Barker stars as Hampshire beat Middlesex by seven wickets
Barker returned an impressive 84 in the first innings, his highest score for the county.
Dan Lawrence leads Essex onslaught against Derbyshire
The hosts were in a hurry after a first day washout at Chelmsford.
England likely to do without IPL contingent for New Zealand Test series
The players returning from India will come out of quarantine less than a fortnight before the Lord’s opener.
Rachael Haynes withdraws from The Hundred due to coronavirus restrictions
Australia’s Haynes was one of the star overseas signings for the inaugural edition of the 100-ball competition.
Former England seamer Harry Gurney retires from cricket due to shoulder injury
The 34-year-old left-armer has been unable to recovery sufficiently from a shoulder injury.
Richard Gould leaving Surrey to become Bristol City chief executive
Gould was commercial director at Ashton Gate between 2001 and 2005.
Jofra Archer takes two wickets on return in Sussex clash with Kent
Archer has been out with finger and elbow issues.
Jofra Archer to step up injury return in Sussex’s Championship game with Kent
Archer’s last first-class appearance for the county came in the 2018 season.