Lord’s Pitch Report: Will it spin for England and India?
Ends: Pavilion End, Nursery End
Home Team: Middlesex
Test History: 136 Tests; 53 home wins, 34 away wins, 49 draws
Last 10 Tests: 5 home wins, 4 away wins, 1 draws
Last 10 Tosses: 6 bat first (3 wins, 1 draw, 2 loss), 4 field first (1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses)
As the home of English cricket – indeed world cricket – it has been suggested that Lord’s inspires the opposition more than it does the hosts. Getting onto the famous honours boards is a motivation no-one denies.
The ground is privately owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (membership 18,000), is the home to the ECB and, from 1909 to 2005, the ICC.
Despite the MCC’s reputation for stuffiness, the ground has been extensively redeveloped to keep it at the forefront of cricketing venues, and many of the additions are strikingly modern without diminishing the famous venue’s historical power.
Last Time Out
Pakistan secured one of the best ever Test victories in England in May when they beat the hosts by nine wickets at the Home of Cricket.
After England had won the toss and opted to bat, the tourists skittled the home team’s batsmen out for just 194 before replying with 363 runs of their own.
Facing a deficit of 179 the hosts could only muster 242 all out thanks largely to half-centuries from Joe Root (68), Jos Buttler (67) and 20-year-old debutant Dom Bess (57).
The standout bowler in the match for Pakistan was seamer Mohammad Abbass who captured eight wickets in the game as the visitors knocked off the required 66 runs for the loss of only one wicket on the fourth day.
Speaking after the game, Abbas said: “My first match at Lord’s, and to get the Player of the Match award – my aim was to pick up five wickets and get my name in the Honours Board, but it didn’t happen in either innings.
“But by the grace of Allah, I did get eight wickets.”
Happy Hunting Ground
England’s veteran opening batsman Alastair Cook is second only to Graham Gooch in the run scoring charts at Lord’s having racked up 1916 runs in 25 Tests at the venue at an average of 43.54, including four hundreds and twelve fifties.
James Anderson (94) and Stuart Broad (78) top the all-time wicket taking stakes at the famous venue.
The last time India played at Lord’s, in 2014, lanky seamer Ishant Sharma recorded figures of 7/74 in the second innings as the Asian team romped to a 95-run win.
In that same match, Ajinkya Rahane scored 103 in the first innings to have his name carved onto the famous Lord’s honours board.
Cloudy conditions with a bit of rain is expected on the first day on Thursday but the sun will appear to make what should be a good weekend’s cricket.
They say if you win the toss at Lord’s look up rather than down at the pitch. That cliché has been proven wrong time and again though and the skipper winning the toss would do well to put runs on the board.
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