Pitch Report: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Ends: Pavilion End, Radcliffe Road End
Home Team: Nottinghamshire
Test History: 61 Tests; 22 home wins; 16 away wins; 23 draws (including 1 neutral Test)
Last 10 Tests: 7 home wins; 2 away wins, 1 draw
Last 10 tosses: 9 batted first (5 wins, 3 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.
Last Time Out
Who could ever forget the 2015 Ashes Test where Australia were skittled for 60 on day one, Trent Bridge hasn’t hosted since.
A memorable spell from hometown hero Stuart Broad had Australia in tatters and sealed the Ashes series win.
Broad took 8 for 18 in the first innings with the ball swinging as it usually does in Nottingham.
England managed 391 in reply on the back of a career defining hundred from Joe Root, now England skipper, assisted by Jonny Bairstow’s 74.
Second time out for Australia it was Ben Stokes who did the business taking 6 for 36 as the Baggy Green fell for 253 to lose by an innings and 78 runs. The defeat was the seventh in Ashes Tests for skipper Michael Clarke the worst for any Aussie captain.
Joe Root speaking about the decision to stick with the same XI which includes two spinners said: “It gives us a great balance if spin does come into it later in the game, but it might be that our seamers play a bigger part this week and that excites me. When they get the opportunity they’ll still be pretty fresh coming into the second innings later on in this game.”
Morne Morkel meanwhile wasn’t keen on altering his run up for this Test: “I can’t make my run up longer, I can’t make it shorter. I’m just going to stick with it.
“The only thing I can do is keep on working on that; work on getting the foot behind the line.”
Happy Hunting Ground
James Anderson has 54 wickets at the ground which is the Test record but Stuart Broad willhave fond memories of the Ashes Test.
Remarkably Broad is the leading runscorer in Tests at Trent Bridge in the squad having scored 384 runs in ten innings, he leads Root, 319 runs in four innings and Alastair Cook 306 runs in fifteen innings.
None of the current Proteas have played a Test match at Trent Bridge with their last visit coming in 2003.
The forecast shows the possibility of rain on day two but the rest of the Test looks to be safe from the weather gods although in England predicting the weather is notoriously difficult.
We shouldn’t expect a repeat of the 2015 Ashes with the pitch not sporting too much green but movement through the air is always a factor at Trent Bridge.
There is likely to be a bit of juice in the pitch early but you fancy Root will back his batsmen to survive long enough to plunder the old ball.
For South Africa this may be a god toss to lose with the Proteas fragile batting unlikely to enjoy the early part of day one.
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