England v India, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge July 6, 2014

Anderson's favourite venue, and England's batting woes

Trent Bridge has been one of the very best grounds for fast bowlers over the last decade, with James Anderson taking 49 wickets at 17.34. It is also a venue where England have won each of their last five Tests

In the 52 Tests that India have played in England, they have won five and lost 27. That is a win-loss ratio of 0.18, which is their worst in any country - worse than in Australia (5-26), and in South Africa (2-8). Most of that is admittedly because of their early results in England - before 1970, India were 0-15 in 19 Tests - but it's also true that their most recent result there was a throwback to those early days: a 4-0 whitewash in 2011.

India have plenty to prove after their recent overseas debacles - 10 defeats in the last 12 Tests - and it's likely that their first test will also be the toughest, for Trent Bridge, the venue of the first match, is one of the best grounds for seam and swing bowling over the last decade. In 10 Tests played here since 2003, seamers have taken 292 wickets at an average of 27.11 and a strike rate of 53. Among venues which have hosted at least six Tests during this period - there are 37 that make this cut-off - only Sabina Park in Jamaica, has a better average for quick bowlers (24.31).

Best venues for fast bowlers in Tests since Jan 2003 (Qual: 6 Tests)
Venue Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM
Kingston, Jamaica 10 237 24.31 49.0 12/ 1
Trent Bridge, Nottingham 10 292 27.11 53.0 16/ 2
Harare Sports Club 10 237 27.76 55.0 10/ 1
Wanderers, Johannesburg 11 338 28.09 52.4 14/ 4
Melbourne Cricket Ground 11 257 29.12 57.2 7/ 1
Bridgetown, Barbados 11 244 29.31 57.8 6/ 2
SuperSport Park, Centurion 12 304 29.83 53.1 17/ 4

England's leading fast bowler has enjoyed bowling here more than at any other Test venue in the world. James Anderson has 49 wickets from seven Tests at Trent Bridge, which is his second-highest at any venue: he has 68 at Lord's but from 15 Tests, and at an average of 25.14; at Trent Bridge he averages an exceptional 17.34, which is his best at any ground. Six out of his 15 five-fors and both his ten-wicket hauls have come here, which indicates just how dangerous he can be at the venue.

In fact, Anderson has as many five-fors in seven Tests at Trent Bridge as he has in 46 matches in all other grounds in England put together. The last time he played here, in the 2013 Ashes, Anderson took five-wicket hauls in both innings, and finished with match figures of 10 for 158. However, his worst figures here were against India, in 2007, when he had match figures of 1 for 157 in England's seven-wicket defeat. Anderson needs only five more wickets to become the leading wicket-taker in England - he has 225 currently, four behind Fred Trueman's 229. Given how he generally bowls here, the record should be his before the Test is over.

Stuart Broad has been impressive here too, with 21 wickets from five Tests at 22.76. The only time he took more than two wickets in an innings here was in 2011 against India, when he claimed 6 for 46 in the first innings.

James Anderson at home, at Trent Bridge and at other venues
  Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM
At Trent Bridge 7 49 17.34 37.2 6/ 2
Other grounds in Eng 46 176 29.72 58.2 6/ 0

With Anderson and Broad very effective at Trent Bridge, it isn't surprising that the stats for England's quick bowlers are impressive here: 166 wickets in ten Tests at an average of 23.43; overseas fast bowlers average almost 32, which suggests that England's seamers and swing bowlers have been instrumental in winning them Tests here. Overseas spinners have done slightly better than England's, but the home team have not relied much on spin here.

Pace and spin at Trent Bridge in Tests since Jan 2003
  Pace Spin
  Wickets Average Strike rate Wickets Average Strike rate
England's bowlers 166 23.43 47.2 25 34.12 70.4
Overseas bowlers 126 31.96 60.6 42 31.73 59.8

Trent Bridge has been a venue that England's fast bowlers have enjoyed over the last decade, but their batsmen haven't enjoyed similar success. Alastair Cook has already been undergoing a miserable run as captain and batsman in Tests, and he won't be enthused by his Trent Bridge stats: in 13 innings he has scored only one half-century, and averages 21.50. That half-century came in his most recent Test innings here, against Australia last year, when he scored exactly 50 in the second innings. In four tries against India here, he has managed only 73 runs, with a highest score of 43.

In fact, all the specialist batsmen for England have struggled here over the last decade: Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Andrew Strauss all average in the late 30s, while Jonathan Trott's is less than 25. Stuart Broad has averaged more than all of these batsmen with three 50-plus scores in eight innings here.

England's batsmen at Trent Bridge
Batsman Tests Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Stuart Broad 5 313 39.12 64.40 0/ 3
Kevin Pietersen 8 543 38.78 52.61 1/ 3
Ian Bell 6 383 38.30 52.25 2/ 0
Andrew Strauss 8 501 33.40 45.50 1/ 2
Matt Prior 5 248 31.55 59.53 1/ 2
Jonathan Trott 4 170 24.28 55.01 0/ 0
Alastair Cook 7 258 21.50 38.45 0/ 1

Trent Bridge has been a happy venue for quick bowlers, but teams batting first have still done well: in the last ten Tests, seven have been won by the side batting first, with England achieving it six times. One of the exceptions was India in 2007, when they bowled England out for 198 in the first innings after choosing to field, and then scored 481 to set up the win.

Generally, though, Trent Bridge has been a difficult venue for teams batting last: Pakistan were bowled out for 80 in 2010, India for 158 in 2011, England for 190 against Sri Lanka in 2006, and South Africa for 131 in 2003. Even in the 2005 Ashes Test which England won, they managed to chase down 129 with only three wickets in hand.

In the fourth innings too, fast bowlers have played key roles at this ground, taking 49 wickets at 20.79, compared to 17 wickets for spinners at 20.23. The fast bowler stats here in the fourth innings are better than in the first three innings: they've averaged 29.72 in the first innings, 27.09 in the second, and 28.34 in the third.

With Zaheer Khan at the top of his game in 2007 - taking 9 for 134 - India exploited those conditions better than the home team to win by seven wickets; in 2011 too, the Indian seamers were superb in the first innings, bowling England out for 221, before being taken apart in the second. They'll need a couple of their bowlers to step up again to prevent England from winning their sixth consecutive Test here.

Runs per wkt in each innings at Trent Bridge since 2003
1st inngs 2nd inngs 3rd inngs 4th inngs
32.59 29.10 30.08 21.67

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • niaz on July 9, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Its a very interesting test. BK and Binny might surprise us on this ground. Anderson used to be the best bowler for swing and seam... there are signs he is no longer as good... is he still good enough. Broad is always n X factor. Liam P. should be a better bowler than Ishant or Aaron. This may be a test that advantage may not work (even Binny may shine). India's batsmen all average more than 50 in FC cricket but they are fairy new.. specially new to England.. With Cook struggling.. a few others gone.. England's batting is not as solid as it used to be.. anything is possible. I would say that would work in india's favor. India may lose badly, may win.. if the first test was in Lord's i would say England would win or it will be a draw. India's new bowlers mistakes IShant or V. Aaron's inaccuracy would cost them a lot.. BK or Binny might look not threatening enough..But at Trent Bridge anything is possible.

  • Naresh on July 9, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    The schedule is such that England play on their best ground first. India should be aware of this. Early advantage in the series will have bearing on the rest of the series. If Dhoni wins the toss he should bowl first. England will know their pitches.

  • Peter on July 8, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Anderson = a serviceable type whose best days are gone

  • Rahul on July 8, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    You say that India might struggle here at Trent Bridge as it swings and seams the most. At the moment, I might say England will struggle even more considering their green batting attack (India's lineup have proved themselves in foreign and home conditions). Furthermore, the Indian bowlers will be encouraged by the conditions and are likely to prosper more here than any of the other 4 venues.

  • Karthikeyan on July 8, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    Based on two warm up matches, Indian Batting is good and they need to see the game on bowling front. Sure Bhuvi and Shami do some magic in their bowling tomorrow... Hope to see India closing the series as 5-0 win.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    @Wapuser,all I can say is you have very nice dreams.How do you know that England will win?What if I say that Dhawan,Pujara and Kholi will get centuries and England will lose.Won't believe right?So just sit back and enjoy this series for some very talented youngsters are going to be groomed for the future.You canoot say anything in cricket.Cheers mate !!

  • John on July 8, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    I don't set a lot of store by historical data. These are different teams from those that played in 2011, the wickets are different and the weather may play a part.

    Bat well, bowl well and hold your catches and what happened in the past won't matter a jot.

  • Dummy on July 7, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    Cook,robson,bell get century and anderson broad share 18 wickets India loose by innings and 200 run.

  • Ashok on July 7, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    Mr. Rajesh, these stats. are good & applicable as long as the Trent Bridge Pitch is prepared & maintained in the same way as in the past. The latest information shows that the pitch as well as the ground is provided with drainage system which is supposed to suck the water & moisture out of the surface to present a dry top. Also the grass is brownish not greenish which suggests that the surface of the pitch has much lower moisture content. Slight tinge of green provided on the top may be due to "sides of the pitch" being watered. Given these facts, Can the fast bowlers get the same bounce & seam of the pitch as in the past? At the Lords & at the Headingly with similar approach in pitch prep. the bounce was lower in the England vs. SL Tests. Why should we the Fans believe these stats. are still applicable to the present day pitches ? I think we may see Anderson's figures to be significantly different to those in the past at the Trent Bridge!

  • Sira on July 7, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    @deepmankar, the author is talking about the 2011 match, not the 2007 one. In the 2011 game, it was ENG 221, IND 288, ENG 544, IND 158. So, the Indian bowling was indeed taken apart in the second innings. And then the batsmen were rolled up for a big England win by 319 runs.

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