Take a look around Lord’s

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Established: 1814
Capacity: 30,000
Floodlights: Yes
Ends: Pavilion End, Nursery End
Home Team: Middlesex
Test History: 131 Tests; 51 home wins, 32 away wins, 48 draws
Last 10 Tests: 5 home wins, 3 away wins, 2 draws
Last 10 Tosses: 3 bat first (3 wins), 7 field first (1 win, 2 draws and 4 losses)

Overview

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.

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

The most recent Test at Lord's was in July last year, when Australia beat the hosts by a massive 405 runs with more than a day to spare. The Aussies opted to bat first and made the most of the fresh deck.

Steve Smith's double ton and Chris Rogers' 173 saw the visitors record 566/8 declared, with Stuart Broad taking four wickets. England responded by making 302 all out, Alastair Cook making 96.

Pace continued to take the wickets as Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood took three each, but the deck flattened out even further as the Aussies batted again. They added 254 for two, declaring again.

England thus needed 509 to win, and were dismally removed for 103 instead. Only Broad reached double figures as Australia's bowlers shared the spoils. Johnson took three for 27, though spin also got a look-in as Nathan Lyon took two.

They Said

England captain Alastair Cook after the above match: "Australia were ahead from pretty much ball one and never let us back in. It shows how important the first couple of days are. The side that gets on top tends to dominate."

Australia's Steve Smith: "Yeah, thought it was a good wicket, started well on day one, put us in a pretty strong position – Chris Rogers played fantastically well – and we went on from there."

Smith added: "The wickets are a bit slower and the ball does a bit more than back home. So being patient, playing in my eyeline and letting balls go."

Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne: "The Lord's wicket has lot of runs. It's a batting paradise. The swing will be less and the sun will be out."

Happy Hunting Ground

England skipper Alastair Cook needs just 39 more runs to overtake former opening partner Andrew Strauss at number two on the run charts at Lord's. Top of the list by a distance in Graham Gooch, so Cook will be eager to get closer to his mentor's record.

Of the other current players, Joe Root has a double ton at the ground and averages 72 in six Tests. In 12 knocks, he's scored two tons and four fifties, making him one of the more prolific batsmen here.

As for England's bowlers, James Anderson is the leading wicket taker here, with 75 scalps in 18 Tests, at an average of 28. Stuart Broad is third on the list, 10 wickets behind Jimmy but in three less matches.

Sri Lanka last played here in 2014, and Angelo Mathews scored a ton in that match, though now-retired Kumar Sangakkara was the star in that draw. Shaminda Eranga and Rangana Herath took healthy wicket hauls then too.

Weather Forecast

Rain could play a part in this game, though days one and two are set to be fairly clear. Saturday is forecast to have rain for most of the morning, while Sunday could see the evening session interrupted. This assumes, of course, that the game is still going by then and that England haven't wrapped it up inside three days again. Should the game reach a fifth day, it will be cold and overcast as well.

Conclusion

All records indicate that pace bowling rules the Home of Cricket, though the deck tends to be quite good for batting when the sun is out. If anything, it's a track that has something for everyone, with the added motivation of getting one's name on the honours boards.

But with overhead conditions working in Anderson's favour, we'll assume this game will go in England's direction and they'll bag the whitewash.

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