Adelaide, Dec 4 (GCSports) The last three Tests in Adelaide have all been pink-ball affairs – none of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have actually played a red-ball Test at the venue to date.
Amazingly, Ishant Sharma, who made his Test debut back in 2007, has played three Test matches in Adelaide over the years, all with the red ball, though his returns have been far from impressive.
It’s a fascinating bit of trivia, which may or may not mean anything as far as the outcome of the first Test of the upcoming four-match series between Australia and India is concerned.
While Hazlewood and Starc have both played three Test matches in Adelaide, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, all of them have been played partially under lights, in the day-night format. Cummins, who was out of action with injury for the longest time, has featured in only one Test at Adelaide Oval, the last one, in 2017. All pink ball games.
The Australian Test squad does, however, include Peter Siddle, the 64-Test veteran. Siddle has played seven Tests in Adelaide over the years, including the day-nighter in 2015, giving him the experience of six red-ball Tests at the venue.
But he might not figure in the XI if Australia opt for their first-choice attack of Hazlewood, Starc, Cummins and off-spinner Nathan Lyon, an ICC report on Tuesday said.
The only other premier paceman in the Australian squad is the uncapped Chris Tremain, while Mitchell Marsh, the fast-bowling all-rounder, has played two of his 20 Tests at the venue, one in 2014 (red ball) and the one in 2015 (pink ball).
“I don’t think I’ve played a red-ball game here in quite a while – the wicket will play pretty similar, hopefully the red ball stays harder for a touch longer and we can get that nice carry and bounce, there’s always a nice coverage of grass,” said Hazlewood on bowling at Adelaide.
“The day-night Test can swing around pretty quickly if you have a new ball at night, so I guess this one is going to be a bit more even over the course of the day. I’m actually looking forward to getting a red ball on this wicket,” he said.
Importantly from Australia’s point of view, they have won all the three day-night Tests in Adelaide – by three wickets in the inaugural fixture in 2015, followed by wins by 7 wickets and 120 runs against South Africa and England in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
India have, meanwhile, played 11 Tests at the venue – the first in 1948 – and have won just one (2003) while losing eight.