Eng v Ind, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day July 9, 2014

England 'frustrated' with pitch

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Anderson: We want a far contest between bat and ball

James Anderson admitted the England team were "frustrated" by another low, slow surface that did nothing for the home attack on the first day of the Investec Test series against India.

Murali Vijay batted throughout the day to make an accomplished century as India lost only four wickets on a pitch that did little to assist the England seamers. The Trent Bridge groundsman admitted he was disappointed with the lack of pace in his pitch.

While Anderson suggested the England attack, who conceded less than three an over, could be proud of their day's work in challenging circumstances, he also hinted that the surface did not allow for an "even contest between bat and ball".

Just as Stuart Broad, in the run-up to the Test, requested enough carry to ensure that edges should carry to the close fielders, so Anderson bemoaned the lack of such carry as two edges dropped short of the slip cordon and another mishit fell short of silly-point.

"It was frustrating," Anderson said. "It's not great, but there is not a lot we can do about it unless some strict directives come in.

"I thought we did brilliantly today. Our attitude was fantastic. We could have moaned about the pitch quite easily and sulked about, but I thought all the bowlers stuck at their task brilliantly and we're pretty happy with our day's work.

"As bowlers we don't expect seam movement. We expect flat pitches at Test level. We just expect our nicks to carry and a more even contest between bat and ball."

Asked if the pitch was good and whether England had utilised home advantage, Anderson replied "probably not on both counts. We're amazing hosts.

"It was frustrating. But the pitch is what it is and there is not a lot we can do about it at this stage. We've got to rest well and stick at it tomorrow. Even two days out we could see the pitch wasn't going to be one with huge amounts of pace in it. But it is something you've got to try and put out of your mind. Our job is to take wickets and all day long we tried to do that. We tried different things: different fields; different balls. We tried everything."

England enjoyed some success with their experimentation. Cheteshwar Pujara was caught at a short mid-on after Anderson bowled a full cutter with an unusually straight field, while Liam Plunkett bowled with six men on the leg side for a while. England bowled nine maidens in 14 overs immediately after lunch, with Stuart Broad miserly and Anderson gaining just enough reverse swing to trouble the batsmen.

"On a pitch like that you have try and be creative and unsettle the batsmen as much as you can," Anderson said. "All the bowlers came up with ideas and Alastair Cook was brilliant with his plans. We worked really well together at unsettling them. The way we came out after lunch was brilliant. We got two quick wickets and could have had a third with a nick that dropped short of second slip."

But despite England enjoying arguably their best day in the field this summer, India have the upper hand in this game.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo