World Test Championship

India and Australia out to improve record at The Oval during WTC final

World Test Championship

By Rohit Sankar

Hit For Six!

Neither India or Australia would necessarily call The Oval in London as a happy hunting ground, but one team will come out on top when the two combatants face each other in the ICC World Test Championship final from June 7.

The No.1 and No.2 ranked sides in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team rankings will play each other in the marquee WTC final at The Oval in England with neither team enjoying a particularly good record at the venue.

Having recently played each other in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India - which the hosts won 2-1 - these sides aren't short of familiarity, but India, in particular, are struggling with the absence of a few major players.

The challenge at The Oval 

Teams Tests Wins Losses Draw
India 14 2 5 7
Australia 38 7 17 14


This is one venue where both India and Australia have struggled historically. While Australia have won just seven Test matches over the 38 they have played, India have managed just two victories.

That said, both sides have one recent big triumph to write home about at the iconic London venue.

India thumped England by 157 runs in 2021 at The Oval, making it their first victory at the venue in a Test match in 40 years, while Australia won by an innings and 46 runs in 2015 with Steve Smith winning the Player of the Match award for his classy 143. 

Video T20 World Cup 27 Oct 22
Rohit Sharma unleashes the big hits during half-century | Highlights | T20WC 2022
Rohit Sharma scored a splendid half-century as India took on Netherlands in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.

Player records

Smith has one of the best records by an overseas batter at the venue, averaging a stunning 97.75 across three Tests at the venue. This is the fifth-highest batting average for any batter to bat at least five times at the venue. 

Incidentally, there's one other player from that list involved in the WTC23 final, albeit from the sidelines. India's head coach Rahul Dravid boasts of a batting average of 110.75 at The Oval with a double hundred, a hundred and a fifty in his record.

Video ICC Awards of the Decade 24 Nov 20
Steve Smith | ICC Men's Player of the Decade nominee

Right-hander KL Rahul, who made 149 at this venue in 2018 and Rishabh Pant, who made 114 in that same Test, are both missing for India. 

However, their skipper Rohit Sharma made his first overseas Test hundred in 2021 at this venue, a resilient 127 in the second innings that helped India to a big win over England in the fourth Test of the series. The victory saw India take a crucial 2-1 lead in the away Test series. 

Mitchell Marsh, who returned to the Test side for the WTC final and The Ashes, took a five-wicket haul here against England in 2019. This is the only five-for by an Australian or India bowler at The Oval since Shane Warne's 12-wicket match haul at this venue in the unforgettable 2005 Ashes series.

Highs and Lows

In 2014, India were bowled out for just 94, resulting in a 244-run loss. Similarly, in a drawn Test match at The Oval in 1952, India were all out for 98. 

India had to endure two drawn matches and a defeat by an innings at The Oval before finally achieving victory in 1971. It took them 40 more years to claim another significant win at this venue during a crucial moment in their bilateral series against England in the previous World Test Championship cycle.

Australia, on the other hand, have worries around the record of their leading bowler in this WTC cycle.

Despite being the top wicket-taker in the WTC cycle with 83 wickets, Nathan Lyon's performance at The Oval has been below average. The off-spinner has only managed to take nine wickets in his three Tests at the venue, with an innings best of 4-69 and an average of 30.77. 

Smith, the current batting mainstay of the Australian team, has amassed 391 runs in five innings across three Tests at The Oval, including two centuries. He also has one of the highest batting averages among overseas players at this venue.


More News