“I am sure it is going to be….” Steve Smith Anticipates Oval Pitch Conditions For WTC Final Against India

Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith is anticipating favorable batting conditions at The Oval for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India but also acknowledges the potential for India-like conditions as the game progresses. The venue is renowned for its excellent batting conditions, offering true pace and bounce. Smith expects India to exploit the conditions by fielding their frontline spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Despite the challenges, Smith appreciates The Oval’s wonderful atmosphere and exciting cricket.

Smith recognizes The Oval as a ground where batting becomes easier as the game progresses, with the potential for a spin to come into play. He expects certain stages of the match to resemble the conditions faced by Australia during their Test series in India. However, he highlights the positives of playing at The Oval, such as its lightning-fast outfield, expansive square boundaries, and decent pace and bounce. Smith believes it will be a thrilling contest between two formidable teams.

“The Oval can occasionally present itself with some spin, particularly as the game wears on, so we could face some similarities to what we had in India at certain stages of the game. But The Oval is a wonderful place to play cricket in. Fast outfield and the square goes the whole way across the ground, so it is a nice place to bat when you get in and has some decent pace and bounces for an English surface. Should be an absolute cracker,” Smith told cricket.com.au ahead of the final beginning June 7.

Smith expresses his enthusiasm for the World Test Championship, highlighting its significance in providing relevance to every Test match. Australia’s top ranking in the championship allowed them to qualify for the final against India, which he finds incredibly exciting. He anticipates a strong Indian presence among the fans but looks forward to the electric atmosphere and the challenge of facing India in the final at The Oval.

“The WTC is a great initiative. It gives every game we play a lot of relevance, and for us to have qualified on top and face India in the final is incredibly exciting. It is going to be India and us at the Oval. I am sure there will be plenty of fans out there, probably more Indian than Australian, but I am sure it will be great fun, and guys are looking forward to it,” he further stated.

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Smith and several other Australian players participated in county cricket in England as part of their preparations for the WTC final and the subsequent Ashes series. Playing county cricket not only helped them acclimatize to English conditions but also allowed them to fine-tune their skills and form before the crucial matches. Smith’s involvement in county cricket demonstrates the team’s dedication to preparing for the challenges ahead.

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