Pitch Report: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Ends: Pavilion End, Radcliffe Road End
Home Team: Nottinghamshire
Test History: 62 Tests; 22 home wins; 17 away wins; 23 draws (including 1 neutral Test)
Last 10 Tests: 6 home wins; 3 away wins, 1 draw
Last 10 tosses: 9 batted first (6 wins, 2 defeats, 1 draw) 1 bowled first (1 Win)
Since making its Test debut in 1899, Trent Bridge has become a regular on the international circuit. Originally it was shared with Notts County Football Club, but by 1910 there was a big enough overlap in cricket and football seasons to force Notts County to move to nearby Meadow Lane.
It has since become a veritable results paradise. The venue saw seen just one County Championship draw last season and had not witnessed a Test stalemate between August 2002 and July 2014.
Although the pavilion remains within the architectural parameters of its 1889 foundation, there has been no shortage of redevelopment recently, starting with the Radcliffe Road Cricket Centre, which was completed in 1998. Since then the striking Fox Road stand, which includes a modernistic aircraft-wing roof, has been changed, while the West wing and Parr stand on the Bridgford Road side of the ground was replaced in 2008.
The effect of those alterations is that the ground is now completely encircled by buildings tall enough to cut off any breeze, and there has been a noticeable increase in swing – which was already abundant – since that last development. As a result Trent Bridge has increasingly become a results ground, and a draw is likely only to come if rain arrives. That could go out the window with the curator almost certainly being intsructed to roll out a green-top.
Last Time Out
South Africa fought back in the series in 2017 with a rousing win over the hosts at Trent Bridge.
Vernon Philander was the hero in a scrappy Test that was dominated by seam-bowling, though Keshav Maharaj bagged six wickets in the match.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first putting 335 on the board thanks to fifties from Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Philander. Jimmy Anderson took five wickets.
Joe Root couldn’t find the support he needed as his 78 could only lift England to 205 all out.
The Proteas second innings was characterized by stoic efforts from Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla who broke the back of English resistance with a 135 run second-wicket stand.
“I think it is difficult to go into a Test match without a spinner,” Joe Root said. “You don’t want to be left short and not have that option, and you want a nice balanced attack.”
On whether India would opt for an extra batsman or play five specialist bowlers Virat Kohli said: “It depends on what the surface is like, if there is enough in the surface for the bowlers then the extra batsman might come into play.”
Happy Hunting Ground
Anderson has 60 wickets at the ground which is the Test record but Stuart Broad will have fond memories of the Ashes Test in 2015.
Joe Root surpassed Stuart Broad as the leading scorer at Trent Bridge in the current squad during the 2017 Test against South Africa when he moved his total to 405 in four Tests.
Murali Vijay scored 198 runs at the venue in two innings in 2014 and leads the current India group in runs scored in Nottingham in Test cricket.
In two seperate visits to Trent Bridge Ishant Sharma has come away with a total of eight wickets.
The rain promised for day two is likely to make both sides quite keen to bat first.
India will fear suffering the same fate as Australia did at Trent Bridge in 2015 and with good reason given what has gone before on this tour.
Batting first is likely to be the best course of action for either side.
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