Domain Tests v India
History against Australia victory
Australia will have to produce a record fourth innings run chase if they are to claim the victory in Adelaide
9 December 2018, 02:32 PM AEST
History is against Australia making a successful run chase to win the first Domain Test against India at the Adelaide Oval, but a recent JLT Sheffield Shield match provides a dose of optimism.
Australia will face a victory target of 323 to win in Adelaide, a fourth-innings chase that has only been achieved once at the picturesque Adelaide Oval ground.
You have to go way back to 1902 to find that successful run chase, with Australia scoring 6-315 to claim the third Test against England.
So, Tests at Adelaide Oval - Highest successful run chase: Aus 6-315 v Eng, 1902 Highest successful run chase post WWII: WI 5-239 v Aus, 1982 Highest 4th inns total: India 445 v Aus, 1978. Highest 4th innings total since drop in pitches (2013): India 315 v Aus, 2014 #AUSvIND— Samuel Ferris (@samuelfez) December 8, 2018
The highest successful fourth-innings run chase in Adelaide since the second World War was in 1982, when the West Indies scored 5-239 to defeat Australia by five wickets mainly thanks to half-centuries to Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards.
But the Australian team will be buoyed from the most recent Shield contest in Adelaide, where Western Australia chased down 313 in the fourth innings to defeat South Australia by five wickets.
That run chase featured an unbeaten 163 from Shaun Marsh, who produced a brilliant knock under pressure against a South Australia attack featuring Joe Mennie and Daniel Worrall and spinners Lloyd Pope and Travis Head.
Marsh was dismissed for two when he chopped on a Ravi Ashwin delivery during Australia's first innings in Adelaide, in what batting coach Graeme Hick described as "his worst shot for days".
But the Western Australian has a reasonable record in Adelaide, having scored an unbeaten century for his country during the day-night Ashes Test against England last summer.
Australia's best chance of salvaging something in the first Test may be to bat out the remaining overs to secure a draw and history shows this can be done in Adelaide.
There have been 12 innings of greater than 200 runs to secure a draw at Adelaide Oval and three of those have featured scores in excess of 300.
The highest total to claim a draw in a fourth innings in Adelaide was back in 1969 when the West Indies scored 9-339 against the West Indies, while the best effort this century was in 2012 when South Africa batted out 148 overs while scoring 8-248 against Australia.
Domain Test Series v India
Dec 6-10: First Test, Adelaide Oval
Dec 14-18: Second Test, Perth Stadium
Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG
Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar