The final of the World Test Championship (WTC) is set to be played between India and Australia at The Oval in London. The summit clash of the second edition of WTC will commence on June 7. India are playing their second WTC final while Australia have qualified for this encounter for the first time.
New Zealand had won the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship beating India by 8 wickets in the final played at Rose Bowl in Southampton. This time around, The Oval in London has been finalised as the World Test Championship Final 2023 venue.
Here’s all you need to know about The Oval:
The Oval in London has hosted many matches in the history of Test cricket. The first ever Test match played at this venue was between England and Australia in September 1880. Since then, this World Test Championship final venue 2023 has hosted a mammoth 105 Test matches. The venue has regularly hosted a Test match every summer in England.
The average first innings score at The Oval in London is 343 runs even as the teams batting first have a massive 38 matches so far. The sides bowling first have emerged victorious on 29 occasions at this venue. The highest total recorded at this venue is 903/7 by England against their arch-rivals Australia back in 1938. On the other hand, Australia have recorded the lowest total of 44 runs at this venue against the home team England.
Apart from 105 Test matches, The Oval has hosted 76 One-Day Internationals and 17 T20I matches as well.
Test Matches Played: 104
Matches won Batting First: 38
Matches won Bowling first: 29
Average 1st Innings score: 343
Average 2nd Innings score: 304
Average 3rd Innings score: 238
Average 4th Innings score: 156
Highest Total: 903/7 by England vs Australia
Lowest Total: 44/10 by Australia vs England
India’s performance at World Test Championship 2023 final venue
Team India has played as many as 14 Test matches at The Oval in London since 1936. They have managed to win two Test matches, with one of them coming in 2021 when Virat Kohli was captain. They have lost 5 Test matches and seven matches ended in a draw.
The last time India played a Test match here, Rohit Sharma won the Player of the Match award for his excellent century in the second innings. After being put in to bat first, India posted 191 runs in the first innings on the back of half-centuries from Virat Kohli (50) and Shardul Thakur (57).
For England, Ollie Pope (81) and Chris Woakes (50) scored fifties while crucial 30s from Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali down the order helped them post 290 runs taking a crucial lead of 99 runs over India. However, the visitors managed to put up a superb fight in their second essay led by Rohit Sharma.
Rohit scored 127 runs while Thakur, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant smashed fifties as India scored 466 runs in their second innings. Chasing down a stiff total of 368 runs, England were skittled only 210 runs despite an opening stand of 100 runs as India won by 157 runs. To create history.
Australia’s performance at World Test Championship final venue 2023
Interestingly, Australia played their first match at the venue back in 1880 and have featured in 38 Test matches since then. They have won only seven matches at The Oval in London and ended up losing 17 matches with 14 ending in a draw. Australia’s highest score at the venue is 701 while they registered a lowest score of 44 as well here.
Australia last played at The Oval back in 2015 and ended up winning by a massive margin of an innings and 46 runs. Steve Smith was the hero for them scoring 143 runs. On the back of his knock, Australia posted 481 runs in their first innings and then bundled out England twice for 149 and 286 runs respectively.
Last 5 Test Matches at The Oval
If we see the last five Test matches at the World Test Championship 2023 final venue, the team batting first has won on four occasions. Only the last game played here was won by the team bowling first when England had beaten South Africa by nine wickets.
How are the pitch and playing conditions?
The Oval in London is one of the high-scoring venues in England. But overhead conditions play a big role as well. The new ball swings a lot generally and as the game progresses, the conditions become excellent for batting. Hence, it is always better for the team winning the toss to bat first and make sure they score big. Chasing is always tough in the fourth innings here and the spinners also come into the equation in the second half of the game.