Australia's men's cricket team has commenced their training at a facility in South London as they gear up for the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final and the upcoming Ashes series against England. Led by Pat Cummins, the Australians are determined to clinch their maiden World Test Championship title when they face India at The Oval starting from June 7.
However, the team management is cautious of their track record at The Oval, where they will begin their summer campaign. While they would have preferred to kick off their campaign at Lord's, historical data reveals their struggles at The Oval. Since 1880, Australia has only managed seven wins out of 38 matches at The Oval, compared to 17 wins out of 39 matches at Lord's.
Originally, the final of the World Test Championship was scheduled to be held at Lord's when the tournament was planned in 2010. However, due to various reasons and the delayed start of the event, Lord's could not host the WTC final. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further disrupted plans, and the final was eventually shifted to the Rose Bowl in Southampton, which provided bio-security measures for New Zealand and India.
Financial considerations and the ICC's requirement for a 'clean' stadium without existing membership obligations led to Lord's facing potential commercial conflicts. As a result, The Oval was chosen as the venue for the 2023 final.
While England is currently engaged in a one-off Test against Ireland at Lord's, Australia will be preparing for their clash against India at The Oval. Their training sessions have begun at Kent's Beckenham ground, located 20km away from central London, in a picturesque countryside setting.
Meanwhile, the Indian squad members who participated in the IPL Playoffs have also arrived in London and will join the rest of the team to begin their preparations for the WTC Final. The stage is set for an intense battle between the two cricketing giants as they vie for supremacy in the ultimate Test match showdown.