Ashes 2023 | Kennington Oval, London Pitch Report
The Oval, London [Image- Twitter]
The caravan of the ongoing Ashes 2023 will move to the Kennington Oval in London on July 27 for the fifth and final Test.
Australia retained the urn in anti-climatic conditions at Old Trafford last week after persistent rain washed out a better part of the last two days, denying England an opportunity to level the series ahead of the 5th Test.
That said, the series is far from over. Australia have not beaten England in a Test series in the UK since their 4-1 triumph in the summer of 2001. They came close to achieving it in 2019 but squandered the opportunity thanks to some reckless cricket in the 5th Test at the same venue, where they will get another opportunity to right the wrongs.
Australia was thoroughly outplayed by an all-out aggressive English unit in Manchester last week, and if not for the weather, the series would certainly have been 2-2 ahead of this Test.
England will be hurting after losing yet another opportunity to regain the urn, but they still have a chance to salvage their pride by keeping their record of not losing a series to Australia in their backyard for more than two decades by winning at the Oval.
Both sides have featured in 5 Tests at the Oval since the 2001 Ashes, and England have emerged victorious in 2 of them.
Overall, England have won 11 out of their last 20 Tests at the venue, while Australia have won 2 in 6 outings. The reigning World Test Champions beat India by 200+ runs in their recent outing at the Oval.
Ashes 2023: The Kennington Oval Pitch Conditions
The Oval has traditionally been one of the most batting friendly surfaces in the UK in the last 20 years.
In the recent WTC final between Australia and India, the surface stayed true for batting for all five days, even though it became slower.
India made a cardinal sin of bowling first due to greenish tinge and overhead conditions on the first morning, a move that backfired significantly.
The pitch is expected to be dry and while the early greenish tinge will bring the fast bowlers into the equation, it will likely become a pristine surface to bat on as the game progresses.
Since the start of 2011, pacers have taken 295 wickets at the Oval at an average of 31.76. The corresponding figures for spinners are 88 wickets at an average of 34.47.