The Ashes 2013/14: an alternative guide to the Adelaide Oval ahead of the second Test
Searing heat and shell-shocked seagulls: the Panel share some of their Oval anecdotes.
Last Updated: 04/12/13 11:11am
Kevin Pietersen was named man-of-the-match after scoring 227 in England's first innings 620-5 declared and how the tourists would love to replicate that performance this time around following their first Test mauling in Brisbane.
Pietersen has already made headlines in Adelaide this time around after he and Stuart Broad were spotted in a nightclub. No such similar reports have (as yet) come in about our Sky Sports pundits, but here are the Adelaide anecdotes they were willing to share...
DAVID GOWER: Adelaide has always been one of the more sociable Test matches of the calendar in Australia and from the old dressing rooms you could see behind you to where everyone else was having a great time in the tents enjoying beers and cocktails on the lawns and grounds - a little bit like Lord's but much hotter. My favourite quirky memory of going out to bat came in 1990/91 after the Tiger Moth incident up in Queensland. When I thought all that had been put behind me and put to bed I was determined to get some runs and prove to everyone that I was playing for the team and my captain Graham Gooch. But, as I walked out to bat, the man on the PA system, with a great sense of humour, played out on the speakers 'Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines'.
MIKE ATHERTON: Adelaide is a much-changed ground, even more so this time because we're going to have a drop-in pitch.
These days it's a dual-purpose stadium so it's a very different Adelaide from the one that many of us remember; it used to be a good batting surface and really hard work for the bowlers. I remember we lost the toss in 1998 and the wind turned around and blew in from the desert. The temperature was about 43 degrees and it was just about the worst day's cricket I can remember in terms of lack of enjoyment - and I wasn't even a bowler! Darren Gough came running in that day and was still running in at the end of it. That was a performance of real heart.
BOB WILLIS: We had a thermometer on the roller that day and it was reading 52 degrees when Gough ran in to bowl the first ball!
I have a rather odd memory from 1970-71 when I rescued a seagull that had been hit by a Keith Stackpole on-drive. I carried the injured bird to the boundary where I believe the RSPCA - or the equivalent in Australia - managed to revive it. Apart from that I'm haunted by putting Australia into bat in 1982/83. I mistakenly listened to the advice of Gower, Lamb and Botham when I should have batted first and Australia out-played us from that point as Greg Chappell hit a masterful century. I took plenty of flak for that one!
NASSER HUSSAIN: Adelaide is no place to stay in the field for longer than you have to and I vividly remember back in 1998 that our then coach, Bumble, had us out in the early-morning heat for almost an hour before the Aussies even turned up! They were pretty much laughing at us and joking that we'd better win the toss, which of course we didn't, which meant an energy-sapping day in the field as Justin Langer scored a century.
DAVID 'BUMBLE' LLOYD: Phew - don't remind me! Commentating here it tough enough, let alone having to coach the team. You walk from the hotel to the ground and you are dripping with sweat before your shift has even started! I remember that Test in 1998 and Nass isn't wrong when he says it was absolutely boiling. I remember it being something like 42 degrees and we were all in agreement that if it reached 45 degrees we'd walk off the field.
BENEDICT BERMANGE'S KEY FACTS
- England's Record at the Adelaide Oval is: P30, W9, L16, D5
- The Oval's Moreton Bay fig trees were planted in the 1890s and the scoreboard began service on 3 November 1911
The longest partnership in Ashes Tests was an 877-ball effort by Wally Hammond and Douglas Jardine at Adelaide in 1929
- In 1993 the West Indies beat Australia by 1 run - the narrowest margin of victory ever recorded in a Test Match
Watch day one of the second Ashes Test between Australia and England from 11pm on Wednesday, on Sky Sports 2.