England v India, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 5th day July 13, 2014

Burnout worries after deathly slog

The opening Test ended with the levity of Alastair Cook taking a Test wicket in a match where his captaincy showed encouraging signs but England should be assisted more by their system rather than hindered
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Play 01:49
Extraordinary match, unique pitch - Cook

A few years ago, a Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was abandoned and the game re-scheduled for the Recreation Ground a few miles down the road. Despite the ground having fallen into partial disuse - football was played there and goats grazed upon the grass - it still produced a passable Test wicket and an exciting finish.

So a herd of hungry goats produced a better wicket than the monstrosity on which England and India played the first Investec Test at Trent Bridge. The sight of Gary Ballance and Alastair Cook bowling in tandem as five days of cricket proved inadequate to finish even the third innings underlined the futility of this game. The pitch was unbeatable; cricket was the loser.

The match ended in light-hearted manner as Cook indulged himself with a spell of bowling and took the wicket of Ishant Sharma while doing an impression of Bob Willis.

But amid the smiles, there is growing frustration at the obstacles the home team have to endure.

The system is broken. Instead of all facets of the English game pulling in the same direction, the counties are forced to compete to hosts Tests and, having won the right to do so at great expense, are obliged to make the matches last as long as possible in order to maximise tickets and concessionary sales.

Meanwhile, instead of the ECB helping the England team with a manageable schedule and sympathetic pitches, they are instead hampering their ability to perform at their optimum with a relentless schedule designed only to exploit every last pound from broadcast revenue. When you add in the drainage issue, you have a recipe for little other than tedium.

Cricket should not be this way. It is not meant to be primarily a test of perseverance and endurance. Eventually, spectators and players will tire of being fleeced for such poor entertainment. Just as Elvis Presley, who allegedly shot his television after paying for every possible channel and finding there was still "nothing on," found, more does not always equate to better.

And the pitches will go on being awful until someone at the ECB is strong enough to bring the counties and the groundsmen to heel. A better system of allocation and centrally contracted groundsmen would solve many of these problems in an instant.

"That pitch was unique," Cook said diplomatically afterwards. "The only one I can remember that was similar was that Nagpur pitch where we batted out for the draw in 2012.

"Both sides will say you can't read too much into it until we get back to some English conditions where it bounces above knee height. The lads were brilliant. They never once got angry or frustrated about playing India in these conditions.

"The groundsman has put his hand up and said he got it wrong. We asked him a-week-and-a-half ago for a pitch with some pace in it. You're not asking for excessive movement. You just want some pace in it like a good Trent Bridge wicket."

The result stretches England's winless run to nine Tests in succession. While it is nowhere near as long as the bad old days of the 1980s - England went an eye-watering 18 Tests in succession without a win between January 1987 and August 1988 - it is their worst run since 1992-93 when they went 10 Tests in a row without a win.

Yet, between the obvious concerns about the captain's form, another batting collapse, the wicketkeeper's fitness and the ability of Moeen Ali to fulfil the role of lone spinner, there were some encouraging signs in this game for England.

Stuart Broad was impeccable with the ball and impressive with the bat, while James Anderson showed that, given even a hint of assistance from the conditions, he can test a batting line-up that, on the final day at least, appeared timid against the moving ball and under cloudy skies.

Most of all, Cook enjoyed arguably his best game as captain. While his batting form remains a concern - not since May 2013 has he registered a Test score as high as Anderson's here - he fiddled with his field and managed his bowlers impressively in difficult conditions. Many of his problems will melt away once the runs return and, aged 29 and with 25 Test centuries behind him, they surely will.

"I know I need to start scoring runs," Cook admitted. "I haven't done it for a year now and I need to do it. I have to believe that the wheel will turn at some stage. If you suddenly change everything, you are not being true to yourself.

"I've had a couple of chop-ons and been bowled off the thigh pad. It is a testing game and these things happen when you're not in the best of form."

After three Tests on low, slow wickets, England will have only three days to rest and prepare before the next Test starts at Lord's. Anderson and Broad contributed 113 overs in this game and Broad, who left the field an hour before the end, has a long-standing knee problem. Chris Woakes, who was omitted from Warwickshire's Championship team to play Durham on the ECB's order, and Chris Jordan stand by.

Simon Kerrigan will also be withdrawn from Lancashire's game at some stage to ensure he is relatively fresh and could play at Lord's. Moeen has bowled in desperately tough conditions and shown, at times, that he can be a dangerous spinner. But he continues to concede around four-an-over and England may be tempted to trust Kerrigan to give them more control in the field. He is certainly a far better bowler than he showed on his Test debut at The Oval though the pitch at Lord's in unlikely to offer much assistance.

In the longer run, the ECB must look at the conditions in county cricket which are hampering the development of young spinners. Squeezing the first half of the County Championship season into April and May is the most obvious problem, as it allows sides to operate seam-heavy attacks and exploit green pitches.

They may also reflect on the policy of providing new balls to sides after 80 overs, another rule that makes spin increasingly superfluous, and the preponderance of specialist limited-overs 'spinners' who will never threaten in the longer formats.

As with the scheduling and the pitches, the system that is meant to help build a successful England team, is often its greatest impediment. Whoever becomes the ECB's next chief executive - and the likes of Gordon Hollins, Wasim Khan, Steve Elworthy and Richard Gould will be among the most attractive candidates - will have plenty of work ahead of them.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sir_Ivor on July 14, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    The inescapable fact that emerges is that the teams are on par really. If the conditions of pitch and the weather are favorable to the bowling side on a particular day, the bowlers of both teams have the skills to take advantage. The batsman, Cook, Bell and Root seem to have the edge as of now.But as the tour goes on, I am sure the Indian batting will emerge just as good even if experience is not there. It also goes to show that with a bit of preparation and soe reasonable English weather, any team should perform well. The spinners for India will I feel gradually assert themselves as the wagon moves to Old Trafford and the Oval. This series should be well contested.

  • fguy on July 16, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    if anderson showed timidity of indian's only when there was "assistance from the conditions" what did indian bowlers who took 6 wickets in no time under tough conditions on a dead pitch reveal about the english batsman?

    & if a bowler (moeen) who's taken to the cleaners & only picked wickets out of sheer disdain shown by the batsman is termed "dangerous" then ishant sharma is more dangerous than a curtly ambrose/mitchell johnson hybrid

  • Nampally on July 15, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @Chris-P: I agree that it was a dead pitch tailor made for drawn matches. But the bowling of both England & India was below par too! If England believes in Broad, Anderson & Plunkett to do the job, how come they could not even take out the #10 & #11 Batsmen? On the flip side, India did manage to get the England team down to 202 for 7 & then could not get the tail enders out either. The tail enders outscored the top 7 by 92 runs. The same was true in the Indian second innings where #'s 8 &9 batsmen were the top scorers for India. This was way more than the pitch being just bad. Quality bowling gets the job done irrespective of the pitch. England had just Broad & Anderson with wkt. taking ability & India had just 3 seam bowlers who were half decent. It is imperative both India & England get 2 more good bowlers- pace or spin! Ashwin is needed vs. 6 LH bats for India + Aaron for pace since Yadev is missing from the squad. England need someone like Finn or Tremlet of good pace+ Panesar.

  • on July 15, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    I think England are going to need to play Kerrigan or this bowler burnout is simply going to snowball. They also need to play their very best keeper, because right now they are having to create 22 or 23 chances per match, when you account for dropped catches, I know Prior is not the sole guilty party, but he stands out, less than ideal from a seamers perspective. With Moeen and Stokes at 6 and 7 or vice versa you could afford a slightly lesser batsman to be behind the stumps. England really need to identify their strengths and mould a team around them, this is one of them. It still leaves the predicament however of Broad and Anderson as being your only frontline seamers in the team, assuming you do play Kerrigan and for me England will continue to find it hard running through teams while this is the case. I just don't think they are potent enough on their own to form the basis for a world class attack. Finn, Plunkett or Onions, anybody really, needs to be firing alongside them.

  • fguy on July 15, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    england media/players moaning about their team being overworked should take a glance at the workload of indian team who dont have any time off & are playing the entire year.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    @Cricketfan11111, we wont know until the morning of the test, but expect a pretty standard lords pitch, possibly the same as we had for the SL game.

    @Chris_P, completely agree about the pitch, its one of the worst I've seen since the late 90's in England, when Edgbaston used to break up so bad there were a number of 3 day tests, or tests only just getting into the 4th day, on that sticks out was England vs WI's 95 and 2000

  • ladycricfan on July 15, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    Any information on Lords pitch?

  • warnerbasher on July 15, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    I reckon you need a test wicket like this every so often to highlight how cricket needs to think of its fans. There was nothing at all interesting about this match and that fact that Anderson can hit a test 80 should be a real concern. It's almost as bad as Dizzy Gillespie hitting a 200 a few years ago. It cheapens the sport. I can only hope that Lords can provide a wicket that gives hope to batsmen and bowlers and that skill decides the result of the match rather than a flat,dull wicket.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on July 15, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    I'm not sure he's test quality, not because of his terrible debut, just that he looks a very plain off spin bowler. It's small margins though, if Watson had miscued one of his many and massive sixes off his bowling early on and gave up an early wicket who knows what might have happened. England don't really have a spinner at the moment though I reckon Ali could be pretty good, I think he's being judged too quickly on non spinning wickets and he's a rarity with the bat in an England side, he can bat.

  • anver777 on July 15, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    Change in Roles... from a Batsman to a Bowler, Cook is in poor form & he don't score much runs these days, instead he can take wickets for Eng !!!!

  • Sir_Ivor on July 14, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    The inescapable fact that emerges is that the teams are on par really. If the conditions of pitch and the weather are favorable to the bowling side on a particular day, the bowlers of both teams have the skills to take advantage. The batsman, Cook, Bell and Root seem to have the edge as of now.But as the tour goes on, I am sure the Indian batting will emerge just as good even if experience is not there. It also goes to show that with a bit of preparation and soe reasonable English weather, any team should perform well. The spinners for India will I feel gradually assert themselves as the wagon moves to Old Trafford and the Oval. This series should be well contested.

  • fguy on July 16, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    if anderson showed timidity of indian's only when there was "assistance from the conditions" what did indian bowlers who took 6 wickets in no time under tough conditions on a dead pitch reveal about the english batsman?

    & if a bowler (moeen) who's taken to the cleaners & only picked wickets out of sheer disdain shown by the batsman is termed "dangerous" then ishant sharma is more dangerous than a curtly ambrose/mitchell johnson hybrid

  • Nampally on July 15, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @Chris-P: I agree that it was a dead pitch tailor made for drawn matches. But the bowling of both England & India was below par too! If England believes in Broad, Anderson & Plunkett to do the job, how come they could not even take out the #10 & #11 Batsmen? On the flip side, India did manage to get the England team down to 202 for 7 & then could not get the tail enders out either. The tail enders outscored the top 7 by 92 runs. The same was true in the Indian second innings where #'s 8 &9 batsmen were the top scorers for India. This was way more than the pitch being just bad. Quality bowling gets the job done irrespective of the pitch. England had just Broad & Anderson with wkt. taking ability & India had just 3 seam bowlers who were half decent. It is imperative both India & England get 2 more good bowlers- pace or spin! Ashwin is needed vs. 6 LH bats for India + Aaron for pace since Yadev is missing from the squad. England need someone like Finn or Tremlet of good pace+ Panesar.

  • on July 15, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    I think England are going to need to play Kerrigan or this bowler burnout is simply going to snowball. They also need to play their very best keeper, because right now they are having to create 22 or 23 chances per match, when you account for dropped catches, I know Prior is not the sole guilty party, but he stands out, less than ideal from a seamers perspective. With Moeen and Stokes at 6 and 7 or vice versa you could afford a slightly lesser batsman to be behind the stumps. England really need to identify their strengths and mould a team around them, this is one of them. It still leaves the predicament however of Broad and Anderson as being your only frontline seamers in the team, assuming you do play Kerrigan and for me England will continue to find it hard running through teams while this is the case. I just don't think they are potent enough on their own to form the basis for a world class attack. Finn, Plunkett or Onions, anybody really, needs to be firing alongside them.

  • fguy on July 15, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    england media/players moaning about their team being overworked should take a glance at the workload of indian team who dont have any time off & are playing the entire year.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    @Cricketfan11111, we wont know until the morning of the test, but expect a pretty standard lords pitch, possibly the same as we had for the SL game.

    @Chris_P, completely agree about the pitch, its one of the worst I've seen since the late 90's in England, when Edgbaston used to break up so bad there were a number of 3 day tests, or tests only just getting into the 4th day, on that sticks out was England vs WI's 95 and 2000

  • ladycricfan on July 15, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    Any information on Lords pitch?

  • warnerbasher on July 15, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    I reckon you need a test wicket like this every so often to highlight how cricket needs to think of its fans. There was nothing at all interesting about this match and that fact that Anderson can hit a test 80 should be a real concern. It's almost as bad as Dizzy Gillespie hitting a 200 a few years ago. It cheapens the sport. I can only hope that Lords can provide a wicket that gives hope to batsmen and bowlers and that skill decides the result of the match rather than a flat,dull wicket.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on July 15, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    I'm not sure he's test quality, not because of his terrible debut, just that he looks a very plain off spin bowler. It's small margins though, if Watson had miscued one of his many and massive sixes off his bowling early on and gave up an early wicket who knows what might have happened. England don't really have a spinner at the moment though I reckon Ali could be pretty good, I think he's being judged too quickly on non spinning wickets and he's a rarity with the bat in an England side, he can bat.

  • anver777 on July 15, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    Change in Roles... from a Batsman to a Bowler, Cook is in poor form & he don't score much runs these days, instead he can take wickets for Eng !!!!

  • on July 15, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    These guys gets hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing cricket.... for five days max at a time and then a days off in-between... Half of the five days which you spend sitting in the 'hut' and doing as you please... getting massages, eating well, watching like the crowd pay to do, to relax and unwind and have fun..... Some people are dying of poverty, hunger; some work 80 hour weeks in mines, some are vagrants, some are sleeping rough and would kill to get a normal wage and play cricket 360 days a year and never leave the field of play to avoid returning to their Favela, slum, shanty town or cardboard box. Get a grip big three and the media, and get some perspective? You are embarrassing yourselves. They are the privileged few. If they want to have a break, I will happily take their place and never, ever relinquish my spot. Only a spoiled brat would...Go figure its Eng/India.

  • jb633 on July 14, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    Good insight about the ECB as a whole but the ideas about why we are not producing good spinners goes beyond 1st class cricket and goes back to the grass roots stuff and the way spinners are handled by club captains.

  • Manush on July 14, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    What is so special Cook has shown as a captain in this match to be appreciated. He was as bad as his counterpart Dhoni in allowing the opponents to run away from defeat by the defensive tactics.!!! Cook the batsman is given too much support by the Board which he does not deserve. Let Lords be his final chance to continue in the team as an opener but definitely not as a captain.

  • Chris_P on July 14, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    @Francis Mel. At no point did I say anything about England being robbed. It matters to me not who wins as I am viewing this as a neutral. What I am saying was the pitch was rubbish to both teams. In any world, alternate or not, this pitch was not up to test standard, no excuse, just fact. Pitches like this will kill off test pitches, that is my cause of concern.

  • Nampally on July 14, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    Playing 5 Test matches in 42 days raises a real threat for pace Bowlers with regards to injuries, burn out or tired arm. I had expressed this concern in my cricinfo inputs earlier. The best way to handle this is to rotate the pace bowlers. England pace bowlers like Finn, Tremlet & Bresnan seem to be forgotten Men. The first Test clearly showed that neither England nor India has bowling capability to take 20 wkts. Hence logic requires both sides to make changes in bowling. Indian batting has shown better technique to handle England pace bowling. So batting will be unchanged. Knowing Dhoni, he will go with unchanged XI. But logically, Ashwin must play to handle the 6 England LH bats & Aaron with extra pace is needed to handle the tail enders. Let Jadeja & Binny make way. Similarly in England, Stokes must make way for Jordon. I do not think Kerrigan will play at the expense of Ali. Cook has to decide alternatives. But unchanged XI will not work & I hope both captains make due changes!

  • Dafffid on July 14, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    England often struggled to ball sides out twice with four bowlers that included Swann, and back ups as good with the ball as Collingwood and Bopara. Now they only have two proven seamers. Their fourth seamer is an all-rounder who wouldn't be 10th choice on his bowling alone, and their part-time spinner is scarcely a better than KP was.

    They have to pick a fifth bowler, they have no choice. Anderson and Broad won't last the summer at this rate, and are they really intending to play with a four man attack that doesn't include those two? Sides bat all the way down now as this test proved, they need more options.

  • on July 14, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    I know Graeme Swann has retired, but what happened to Monty Panesar?

  • on July 14, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    "And the pitches will go on being awful until someone at the ECB is strong enough to bring the counties and the groundsmen to heel."

    Two Tests this year go down to the final over. They weren't bad pitches. Are you asserting that county pitches are substandard? If so, then I'd defend groundsmen. They're asked to create pitches that hold together at a ridiculously early time of the season because of rubbish scheduling, produce wickets that will last for four days and mirror Test pitches, get something suitable for T20 cricket as well, don't produce anything that helps slow bowlers on the first day of a CC game because that often leads to points deductions...

  • getsetgopk on July 14, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    What an ugly test match that was, wont be surprised to see some more of the same in the next games.

  • IndianInnerEdge on July 14, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    If i was England i would be wary of the face that 10 man India mixed it with them for most part ofthe test, dominating for long periods. Hope India get the balance right foer the next test.....WE need pace....real pace...read the kind that gets a batsman out by disturbing the timber & not slogging a 120kmph half tracker to the long on boundary fielder.....till such time, we will be a average below average team. The team management can start by bring back Yadav....who can bowl genuinely quick, or get aaron to bowl quick......all in all i forsee a series victroy for England in the coming 4 tests....it wont be easy though.....will be tough slog.....

  • siddhartha87 on July 14, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    I think the Trent Bridge test was an exhibition of mediocrity from both side. True it was a placid track but you should be able to score more than 457 or 496 in pitches like this. The bowling of Jadeja was horrible to say the least. He never looked like a threat. Impressive bowing by Kumar,Anderson and Broad but other than them none bowler of both the sides were good enough.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 14, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @Graham Turner, True to a point, what you don't state is that the county games were 3 days, and the limited over games where significantly less as the competitions where knock out, not mini leagues even though they also included Minor Counties.

  • on July 14, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    So many untried players on both teams. England with Robson, Root, Balance, Ali, Stokes and Plunkett. So little experience. India similar. It's not like India have a great spinner. You could argue their best spinner didn't play, but he's hardly a world beater. He's not Anil Kumble. England with no spinner. English cricket HAS to change, 10 first class teams with one up one down to lower level that is NOT considered first class. The first class game would improve, The T20 game would fit in a 6 week period and the best players would play each other more often. Less easy runs - less easy wickets. All the counties can stay - but only 10 can be first class. First class has no reflection on test status of the ground, as long as the ground is test standard that is all that matters. So if Surrey play none FC cricket, the Oval can still have tests and ODI, why not?

  • YorkshirePudding on July 14, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    In terms of schedule this has been a problem for the last 10 years, with various boards (NOT just the ECB) gone are the rest days that used to frequent games, gone are the weekend breaks between tests.

    Add on a gruelling FTP, I keep mentioning it but England have played far more test matches than any other team since 2009, by the end of the summer it will be 10 more than Australia, 17 more than India, the 25+ more than any of the teams.

    Thankfully they get a winter off from touring unless they are in the ODI/T20 Squad in which case they have a couple of series before he WC. Then its back onto the tread mill with ~30 tests from May next year to Dec 2016, then compare that to India and Aus who have approx. 26/27 tests in the same time span.

  • on July 14, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    In the old days players turned up for a test on the Wednesday after playing for their county on a Tuesday, fiinshed a test on a Tuesday and were expected to play for their county on the Wednesday. So please don't talk about burnout, and please don't suggest that the game was softer in the old days: it wasn't, and to suggest so is to insult those playing in those days.

  • Kaka13 on July 14, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    I could not understand Indian Team Selection- Is Jadeja better all rounder than Ashwin NO, what was the role of Binny in he team - Batsman - Alrounder - Bowler, neither, he scored half century in 2nd inning but I will choose a Batsman then Rohit should be pick, if bowler then Panka Singh, he did not played a role of All rounder as he hardly bowled. Suggested team for next test - Shikhar, Viay, Pujara, Kholi, Rahane, Dhoni Ashwain, Bhvi, Shami, Ishant, Pankaj Singh/Jadeja (depend on pitch) Rohit, if want to play extra bat.

  • on July 14, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    @Dobell. Your analysis of the structural issues is right on the dot. Most of the problems are arising from the overlay of business considerations over cricketing issues. These two considerations are in conflict; and economics seem to overpower cricket.

    Unfortunately there is a goal congruence between the Counties and ECB. When it comes to economics, they are hands in glove. Counties want to maximise gate collection. ECB want their contracted broadcasters having more Ad seconds and minutes. Both leads to having 5 days of test cricket. Both lose money if a test finishes earlier. That is the myopic logic.

    In the long run, dead pitches will create boring cricket. Viewer interest will wane, whether in the ground or those watching the TV broadcasts. That will lead to less ticket sales for counties and less advertisers for ECB who will also demand lower rates per second. Classic case of short term goals hurting the long term ones; even on pure economics.

    Penny wise, pound foolish.

  • krishnaSun on July 14, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    The Trent bridge game was draw because of the dead pitch which is not the ideal for english pitches where there is pace and bounce. As for india the problem was because of benching Ashwin. Dhoni is very selfish as he gave Jadeja instead of Ashwin. In my opinion both dhoni and jadeja must be omitted and Shah and Ashwin or Mishra should be there instead of Jadeja. I hate the approach of Jadeja and his inability to show his spin skills in spin friendly pitch of trent bridge. If the pitch was like of Australia, India would have lost this match by far.

  • on July 14, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    Chris_P & others have gone on about how England have been robbed of a win due to the pitch. What makes you so confident the Indian bowlers cannot dish out the same to the English batsmen? Kumar swings it both ways, Shami can get it to reverse, Ishant can hit the deck. The truth is the English batsmen were dismissed by this attack on this pitch so they can fare worse on spicier pitches. Please get a perspective and stop finding excuses.

  • Sameer-hbk on July 14, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    On one of the TV shows Wasim Akram made a very good point about how everyone should "stop whining and concentrate on getting the job done". Yes, it was a placid wicket. But two 10th wicket partnerships is a mix of both sheer coincidence and just sheer lack of pace in both bowling attacks. No matter what the conditions, a Dale Steyn or Mitchen Jhonson would have put the fear of life in the No.11 and Eng and Ind simply are not that good enough. Maybe instead of worrying about pitches teams should concentrate on producing "spinners" instead of slow bowlers and "fast bowlers" instead of glorified medium pacers. Just two very average sides trying not to end up with a series loss...

  • ARad on July 14, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Truer words are never spoken: "Eventually, spectators and players will tire of being fleeced for such poor entertainment." It is important to pay attention to the cash flow but how to keep the cricket 'brand' compete against other entertainment options available to us is also important if one cares about this game.

  • on July 14, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    Shouldn't the onus be on the players, rather than the groundsmen, to take the Test match to 5 days? There is a reason why Test matches are played for upto 5 days right. Enough with this pitches talk for gods sake.

  • scarab666 on July 14, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    If any country can make tests look boring, its India. This was one boring test where the outcome was a fore gone conclusion by the 3rd day. We need test cricket but not this kind.

  • gavin7094 on July 14, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Cook referred to the pitch as unique, referring to Nagpur 2 years ago. Therefore, most pitches are OK. Test cricket has never been more exciting. This pitch was an exception but is no evidence of a wider picture or pattern. Dobell comments about a relentless schedule. Of T20 yes. Tests no. Tests were not designed to be a 'test of endurance and perseverance'! Yes that's exactly what Test cricket should be! Dobell usually writes intelligently about the game but is very wide of the mark with this.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 14, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    @Harlequin is a fair point however we had one of the wettest winters on record, so the recent hot summers isn't an excuse.

  • John-Price on July 14, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    I think there is an element of overaction here. The Sri Lankan tests both went to the wire and a result was still possible at Trent Bridge until mid afternoon on the final day. A little bit of spice in the wicket would have finished the 10th wicket partnerships off rather earlier and a result would have been likely.

    Test cricket has done very well in terms of producing results in recent years, no major adjustments are needed.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 14, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    On the evidence of what we saw at Trent Bridge, we could be in for a pretty even contest. Both sides are low on confidence and in a state of transition. In a marathon like this series, victory will go to the side whose bowlers endure better and/ or the one whose captain is more willing to attack.

  • ste13 on July 14, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Critics of Trent Bridge pitch have no gound. This test just shown, how poor bowling line-ups of both teams are. I am pretty sure that any of these teams playing vs Australia (Johnsona and Harris) or South Africa (Steyn and Philander)on this wicket would loose in 4 days. Lord's will most likely produce another draw due to bowlers' incapacity.

  • Harlequin. on July 14, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    @dunger.bob - it may be wrong to deliberately produce these types of pitches but surely the past few years of world cricket have been enough to show that if it is a choice between revenue and quality cricket, revenue will win!!

    I am tempted to give the groundsmen the benefit of the doubt however; the increased drainage and strangely dry recent summers must be presenting them with scenarios that they are not used to in England. The wish to make the pitch last 5 days might play a small part, but I don't think that pitch-preparation is as exact and predictable as it is made out to be by some.

  • dunger.bob on July 14, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    @ Sir_Ivor: I concur with your assessment. This does look an evenly matched contest and it will be a struggle for both sides. In such a compressed series it could even turn out to be the team with the better bench strength that eventually wins the arm wrestle. In most circumstances that would be the home side because they have their entire first class roster close by. England 2-0.

  • on July 14, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    Is it the sponsors or is it the English batting line up that is fearful of facing good seam and swing bowlers in helpful conditions? Having recently been drubbed by Sri Lanka, they know that on a grassy wicket, Ishant, Bhuvaneshwar and Shami can mow through them. They almost did so on this grassless one!

  • on July 14, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    so what does the last paragraph actually mean? should England counties dish out dust bowls to encourage spinners? or should they continue with seaming tracks as mentioned in the first half of the write up?

  • whyowhy on July 14, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Pathetic cricket, is this what millions pay to watch......All I can say is that the sponsors are wasting their money on a series like this.......The Sri Lanka series was much more exciting.....Sri Lanka should get more test matches in England if test cricket is to continue in England...........

  • Sexysteven on July 14, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    Disagree Kerrigan won't be effective if he plays at lords the Indians will have as much fun with him as they had Ali agree with how bad the English pitches have become so slow and low almost like subcontinental wickets just with less spin they make for for boring games if the bowlers don't have a chance plus the fact the bowlers were bowled in to the ground disagree cooks captain may of improved abit but not enough for him to stay captain for me cos he over bowled his two best bowlers broad and Anderson which could effect there effectiveness for the rest of the series that's not to smart I reckon

  • Chris_P on July 13, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    On home pitches, England deserve better than to be offered this sorry excuse of a test pitch. Trent Bridge should have a test taken off them next season as there a plenty of other grounds over there that will not only provide a good cricket wicket but get spectators in to watch 2 teams competing. How we can offer up Test cricket as the ultimate in our great sport when this sort of rubbish is presented to teams?

  • on July 13, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    It is funny that the people who belittle Kerrigan don't realise that the 53 runs off eight overs he was "thrashed for" represent an ER of 6.62 whereas Moeen's 97 runs conceded from 18 first innings overs in this test works out at an ER of 5.38. Nor do they seem to realise that Shane Watson is one of the most ferocious hitters of a cricket ball in world - something that cannot be said of any of the Indian batsmen. In fact, it could be argued that Moeen's first innings performance was just as bad, if not worse, than Kerrigan's if seen in context.

  • anuradha_d on July 13, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    There is too much of moaning and groaning and complaining by England ( their media , captain and players) about work-load and pitch and DRS..........unfortunately there seems no joy in playing for the country...playing a lot of cricket......test cricket......if some players get tired or break-down....bring in newer set........stopping a high diet of cricket is not the answer...but rather having a deeper pool of reserves.........Indians play so much more IPL and ODIs on routinely dead pitches...but juts get on with it.....if some bowlers break down others appear...newer untested raw potential are given the responsibilities.....and many of the newe comers like Binny, Bhuvi, Shami perform......Eng should get on....feel priveleged to get to play for their country a lot of games....and be willing to roate the old with new

  • krvij on July 13, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Can't the grounds or counties get a share of revenue from telecast rights? Then the dependence on ticket sales will reduce and the need to make the test match last for 5 days will disappear! I could be wrong and legal issues apart, just a logical thought.

  • krvij on July 13, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Can't the grounds or counties get a share of revenue from telecast rights? Then the dependence on ticket sales will reduce and the need to make the test match last for 5 days will disappear! I could be wrong and legal issues apart, just a logical thought.

  • anuradha_d on July 13, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    There is too much of moaning and groaning and complaining by England ( their media , captain and players) about work-load and pitch and DRS..........unfortunately there seems no joy in playing for the country...playing a lot of cricket......test cricket......if some players get tired or break-down....bring in newer set........stopping a high diet of cricket is not the answer...but rather having a deeper pool of reserves.........Indians play so much more IPL and ODIs on routinely dead pitches...but juts get on with it.....if some bowlers break down others appear...newer untested raw potential are given the responsibilities.....and many of the newe comers like Binny, Bhuvi, Shami perform......Eng should get on....feel priveleged to get to play for their country a lot of games....and be willing to roate the old with new

  • on July 13, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    It is funny that the people who belittle Kerrigan don't realise that the 53 runs off eight overs he was "thrashed for" represent an ER of 6.62 whereas Moeen's 97 runs conceded from 18 first innings overs in this test works out at an ER of 5.38. Nor do they seem to realise that Shane Watson is one of the most ferocious hitters of a cricket ball in world - something that cannot be said of any of the Indian batsmen. In fact, it could be argued that Moeen's first innings performance was just as bad, if not worse, than Kerrigan's if seen in context.

  • Chris_P on July 13, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    On home pitches, England deserve better than to be offered this sorry excuse of a test pitch. Trent Bridge should have a test taken off them next season as there a plenty of other grounds over there that will not only provide a good cricket wicket but get spectators in to watch 2 teams competing. How we can offer up Test cricket as the ultimate in our great sport when this sort of rubbish is presented to teams?

  • Sexysteven on July 14, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    Disagree Kerrigan won't be effective if he plays at lords the Indians will have as much fun with him as they had Ali agree with how bad the English pitches have become so slow and low almost like subcontinental wickets just with less spin they make for for boring games if the bowlers don't have a chance plus the fact the bowlers were bowled in to the ground disagree cooks captain may of improved abit but not enough for him to stay captain for me cos he over bowled his two best bowlers broad and Anderson which could effect there effectiveness for the rest of the series that's not to smart I reckon

  • whyowhy on July 14, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Pathetic cricket, is this what millions pay to watch......All I can say is that the sponsors are wasting their money on a series like this.......The Sri Lanka series was much more exciting.....Sri Lanka should get more test matches in England if test cricket is to continue in England...........

  • on July 14, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    so what does the last paragraph actually mean? should England counties dish out dust bowls to encourage spinners? or should they continue with seaming tracks as mentioned in the first half of the write up?

  • on July 14, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    Is it the sponsors or is it the English batting line up that is fearful of facing good seam and swing bowlers in helpful conditions? Having recently been drubbed by Sri Lanka, they know that on a grassy wicket, Ishant, Bhuvaneshwar and Shami can mow through them. They almost did so on this grassless one!

  • dunger.bob on July 14, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    @ Sir_Ivor: I concur with your assessment. This does look an evenly matched contest and it will be a struggle for both sides. In such a compressed series it could even turn out to be the team with the better bench strength that eventually wins the arm wrestle. In most circumstances that would be the home side because they have their entire first class roster close by. England 2-0.

  • Harlequin. on July 14, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    @dunger.bob - it may be wrong to deliberately produce these types of pitches but surely the past few years of world cricket have been enough to show that if it is a choice between revenue and quality cricket, revenue will win!!

    I am tempted to give the groundsmen the benefit of the doubt however; the increased drainage and strangely dry recent summers must be presenting them with scenarios that they are not used to in England. The wish to make the pitch last 5 days might play a small part, but I don't think that pitch-preparation is as exact and predictable as it is made out to be by some.