Kennington Oval, where the WTC final 2023 will be played, is one of those venues in England which is known for being a good batting track. Most of the other wickets in England mostly keep the bowlers in play, but at Kennington Oval at times, the batsmen totally dominate the game.
Last time that India played a test match at Oval was in 2021. It was the 4th test match of a 5-match test series between India and England and India won that game by a huge margin of 157 runs to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series.
India batted first in that game and because of the overhead conditions, batting was not really that easy early on, which resulted in India getting all out for just 191 in the first innings. Even that score was possible because of the half centuries from the then Indian captain Virat Kohli and the lower order allrounder Shardul Thakur.
England, in response, took a 99-run lead as they put 290 on the board in their first innings and got onto the driver’s seat in the game, but as the overhead conditions were changing during the course of the game, batting was becoming easier and easier.
India, in their second innings under very good batting conditions, piled on huge runs as the current Indian captain and the then Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma scored his first ever overseas test hundred and Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur chipped in with fifties as well. India scored 466 in their second innings and posted a target of 368 for England to chase down.
The 5th day wicket had turned slightly weary and teary by that time because of the rough created by the fast bowler’s footmarks and the spinners were getting a little bit of assistance from those rough patches.
England tried to play for the draw on the 5th day, but the relentlessly disciplined bowling, both by the Indian seamers as well as the spinners, made sure that the hosts couldn’t play out the 5th day and were eventually bundled out for 210 to lose the game by 157 runs.
Rohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur will go into WTC final with fond memories of the Oval
Rohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur will go into the WTC final with fond memories of the Oval, as the last time a test match was played at this venue, both these players had really enjoyed their time with the bat.
It’s the only test match of Shardul’s career so far where he has scored half-centuries in both innings of the game. Given the fact that he is a bowling allrounder and not a batting allrounder, it’s a remarkable feat for him to achieve in an overseas test match.