Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia located between Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. It was named in honour of Queen Adelaide, the German-born consort of King William IV, and was founded in 1836. It was the planned capital for a freely settled British province in Australia and was designed by Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers and the first surveyor-general of South Australia. Adelaide is the driest capital city in Australia with June being its wettest month of the year. It was the city in which the global media conglomerate News Corporation was founded in and also has strong links with Australia's defence industry.
The Adelaide Oval was established in 1871 and is the home of the South Australia state team. The venue has also staged rugby league, rugby union, football and Aussie rules games, as well as rather more unusual sports such as archery, athletics baseball, cycling and American football. It is best known, however, as one of the most picturesque cricketing grounds in the world thanks to the grassy areas for spectators, which were created with earth from the banks of the River Torrens, the white picket fence around the field and a giant scoreboard. There is also the sight of St Peter's Cathedral in the background. In recent times it has had a bit of a facelift; the Sir Donald Bradman Stand and the Chappell Stands being built, but the redevelopment work has not detracted from the unique nature of the ground.
Groundsman Les Burdett - recognised as one of the best in the game - may have retired, but he has left a legacy of a batting paradise at the Adelaide Oval. However that does not mean it has always been a successful site for the hosts, with Australia having won 35 of the 71 Tests staged at the venue. The pitch will start flat, meaning anyone who wins the toss will have little hesitation in batting first, and with the temperatures rising as the day progresses, it can be extremely tough going for the poor bowlers.
England have won nine of the 17 Tests they have played in Adelaide and will have fond memories of the ground having put Australia to the sword in South Australia last time out. The writing looked on the wall for the tourists after Australia won the toss and opted to bat first on a scorching hot opening day, however a calamitous first over of the match saw the Baggy Greens slip to 0-2 after five balls and from there, there was no way back. The innings and 71-run victory helped ease the pain of England's horror show in 2006, where defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory.