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This has been the case for 51 of the years since Brisbane debuted as a host city in 1928.
The first two games were held at the exhibition center before the festivities moved to the Gabba, which has since been an undesirable first target for touring teams.
Some local opinion will tell you that this is the Board of Control for Cricket in India that is using its financial leverage in a trembling way against a trembling Cricket Australia to demand the most beneficial venue for its team.
The entitlement does not match the supporting documents. In 2014, the venues had to be swapped at the last minute for Phillip Hughes’ funeral. In 2018 one of Brisbane or Perth had to forego hosting a test, and Perth had a shiny new stadium.
In 2020, Queensland Health’s weeks of dragging over quarantine restrictions meant CA Brisbane had to plan last.
It is true that Adelaide was a happy hunting ground for India in the age of Captain Virat Kohli. There he completed his first century of testing in 2012, two tons as reserve captain in 2014, before leading his team to a victory in 2018.
The 2014 match really was the time when his era of bold Indian cricket was born, when he broke up after a 364 chase on day five and almost made it.
Of course, India would prefer to start its series in Adelaide. One aspect where the influence of the BCCI is nowhere to be seen is that Adelaide will be a day-night test this year.
In the 2018 equivalent, India refused to play under lights, and one wonders which horses needed to be traded to get this deal.
If the South Australian locale had previously offered India an advantage, it would be hard to see how it could survive a shift into playing evening cricket with a pink ball, something Australia has done so much more of.
In total, only 14 day-night tests were played, half of which were in Australia.
Even so, it’s pretty neat that Australia’s favorite bowling attack – Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins – are the top four wicket takers in pink ball cricket.
And that David Warner and Steve Smith are leading the format for runs, with Marnus Labuschagne being a surprise in fourth place after playing three of his 14 tests under lights averaging 109.
Starc is the key player of these, not only for his 42 wickets, but also for averaging all six overs he bowls, with the wickets coming in at 19 runs apiece.
Its slippery swing and skidding action have so much potential to make life difficult in the twilight sessions when the ball is the hardest to pick up.
India, on the other hand, played a day-night test, a brief affair against Bangladesh last year that was over in a few days.
Perhaps acclimatization is not strictly necessary as Indian players spend most of their careers in the light of IPL.
For what it’s worth, eight of the teams selected for Adelaide played in that match, and Kohli made a ton.
This leads to an interesting reversal of type: Kohli called his XI happy the day before the test started, while the opposing captain Tim Paine declined.
Australia has long made sure to designate teams in advance, as if to instill confidence in those decisions, while India tended to be confidential and make last-minute changes.
There is a sense of insecurity in the Australian camp right now, with so many possible shot order configurations and a lack of convincing options at the top due to injury.
The Indians are comfortable, four bowlers and five batsmen who played on the series won two years ago.
That sense of comfort was evident the day before the game, when off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and opening bat Mayank Agarwal were the only two from the XI to appear on the nets for punch practice.
With the advent of day-night testing, the convention has been to leave more grass on to protect the ball, which can add to the swing and seam.
This was not a factor last year as Warner amassed a triple century against Pakistan. When we saw the pitch from the stands this year, the initial reaction was worrying on what appeared to be a white-brown flat surface that could be an Adelaide street.
However, when he found chief curator Damien Hough at the border, he delivered the good oil.
Apparently this year’s surface has an even larger grass cover than before, increased to eight millimeters, but the seed head is drying out to give it the straw color. Under the straw there is leaf, moisture, and in his greatest hopes movement.
India has to resort to this and hope that Jasprit Bumrah in particular can evoke the same awkwardness as Starc. Fast arm speed, an awkward bowling action, and an unusual flight path could make all the difference when the sun goes down. Or the wicket could deliver on his suggestion of runs.
Australia will find out what has changed in two years, India will feel the new conditions.
Forecasts are one way of filling time, but they offer little other service. Seeing what becomes of them is the pleasure.
In a year when cricket may not even have happened this summer, that enjoyment can be increased to a little something.
This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
India national cricket team, Australian men’s cricket team, test cricket, Virat Kohli
World News – AU – Adelaide’s 2020 test will be a venture into the unknown
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