India and Australia At The Oval
Indian test team last registered a win at the Oval was in 2021 against the home side, Indian emphatically won the match by 157 runs against the home side due a brilliant century from Rohit Sharma in the second innings follows by quick half centuries by Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur.
According to Ricky Ponting, the pitch of the Oval has a closer semblance of the pitches in Australia than India. Grounding his keen observation on that factor, Ponting gave slight advantage to Australia.
While speaking in an event in New Delhi, Ponting added, “If this game was being played in India, I would’ve said it’s really going to be hard for Australia to win.”
“If this game was played in Australia, I’d say Australia are the heavy favourites. The fact that this final is being played in England, it probably brings both teams a little closer together.”
In total, India has played 14 test matches at the Oval since 1936, they have at this venue only twice and were successful to draw the match on 7 occasions.
For Australia, The Oval has provided bitter sweet memories in the past. They were defeated by the home side at this venue in 2019 by 135 runs.
The Australian side has played 37 matches at the Oval starting from 1880. They have won only on 7 occasions, and ably drew the match 13 times which means they have sustained more loss at this ground.
“The one thing India have been able to change through that period from late 1990s until now or even the early 2000s until now is their ability to compete outside of India,” Ponting reflected how Indian side has improved in all forms of the game in last decade or so.
“Yes, their batting skills have gotten better but the fact that they’ve been able to produce some very good fast bowlers over the 10-15-year period that they’ve been able to have success away.”
The Oval generally starts with an optimism for batters but as the game goes on, it starts to favour bowlers. Currently, India has one of the best seam bowling attack in the world assisted by a pair of most threatening and skilled spinners.
“Normally the wickets that I played on at The Oval have started as really, really good batting wickets and actually have offered a little bit to the spinners as the game’s gone on. So that’s what I’d like to see in this wicket; a really good contest day four, day five,” Ponting said.