Situated on the eastern bank of the Derwent River, the Bellerive Oval has served as the headquarters of Tasmanian cricket since 1987 – and is also known as the Blundstone Arena.
The Oval has undergone two major upgrades in the past 25 years; first in the mid-1980s, which saw the construction of a new grandstand, training facilities and the laying of a new surface and wicket. The investment paid dividends, with the ground hosting its first international match in 1988, followed by its first Test match in 1989.
In the early 2000s further development occurred, with the addition of indoor training facilities, a new Southern Stand, and an upgraded Member's Area that includes media facilities. In 2009 floodlights were erected, allowing for day-night matches.
Traditionally the surface in Hobart is one that favours the batsmen, with a bit of early assistance the most the bowlers can hope for before the track becomes a flat batsman's paradise. But the wicket was relaid in August of 2012, and an uneven and erratic surface resulted in complaints from batsmen.
The colder climate in the south, together with a mysterious sea breeze, means that atmospheric conditions can have more of an effect on proceedings than at many other grounds around Australia.
The hosts have only lost here once, which is no great surprise. Not only did the ground's inception happen at a time when Australian cricket was on the rise, but they've generally only played the weaker nations in Hobart as the bigger clashes are reserved for the bigger cities.
The grass on the pitch ahead of this Test has both sets of fast bowlers excited, and they will need to take full advantage in the first two days. This deck is normally good for batting, and gets better as the days progress. But good bowling will always be rewarded as reverse swing does come into effect.How does the pitch play?
Pitches at the ground often prove slow in pace early and then gradually flatten out. Ever since the characteristics have been changed, games are now featuring a more even struggle between bat and ball.
This is a result wicket, well it was as of three years ago, and seeing as there have only been two draws here, and only one loss for the Aussies, they'll be confident that their pacemen will do the trick again.
Hobart Hurricanes (From): Matthew Wade(w/c), D Arcy Short, Alex Doolan, Ben McDermott, George Bailey, Simon Milenko, James Faulkner, Johan Botha, Jofra Archer, Clive Rose, Riley Meredith, Jake Doran, David Moody
Melbourne Stars (From): Travis Dean, Ben Dunk(w), Glenn Maxwell(c), Marcus Stoinis, Dwayne Bravo, Nick Larkin, Evan Gulbis, Adam Zampa, Sandeep Lamichhane, Jackson Coleman, Michael Beer, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland