Eng v Ind, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's July 15, 2014

Seamers give England edge, toss vital

Stats indicate that England's fast bowlers have used the conditions at Lord's better in recent times, and that teams batting first are at an advantage

Not since 1992-93 have England gone nine consecutive Tests without a win. They went winless in ten matches in that one-year period and are close to matching that streak, having not won any of the nine they played since their win in the Ashes, in Chester-le-street last year. However, if there was one venue where England would like to play to end this run, it would be Lord's. Like most venues in England in recent times, Lord's has produced results more often than not. Of the 12 Tests played there since 2009, ten have had results.

What will comfort England is that they have won eight of the 11 Tests at Lord's since 2009. The only defeat was against South Africa in 2012. Other than South Africa, Sri Lanka are the only team who have managed, to some extent, to hold their own against the hosts at Lord's in recent times, drawing both their Tests, including the remarkable one last month.

England's record against India at this venue is good too - 11 wins in 16 Tests. India have lost more Tests at Lord's than at any other venue - the most matches a team has lost at an overseas venue (outside the Ashes). The only time India won here was in 1986. Since then, England have won three out of five Tests.

England's fast bowlers have had a major role to play in their team's success at Lord's. In the last five years, James Anderson - who needs only two wickets to pass Ian Botham and become the highest wicket-taker at Lord's - and Stuart Broad have shared 93 wickets between them at this venue at an average of 24.29 and a strike rate of 52.2. However, a decisive factor in England's recent success at Lord's is that the visiting fast bowlers have not been able to match their English counterparts. While England's seamers have taken 163 wickets at an average of 25.92 since 2009, the opposition seamers have conceded 11 runs more apiece for their 129 wickets.

Fast bowlers at Lord's since 2009
Team Mat Wkts Ave SR Eco 5/10w
England 11 163 25.92 51.8 2.99 7/1
Opposition 11 129 36.93 63.3 3.49 7/1

Fast bowlers have done better than spinners at Lord's. Given the helpful conditions, fast bowlers have bowled more and have had greater impact on the matches: in 12 Tests since 2009, they have taken 15 five-fors and two ten-wicket hauls. Spinners have managed only three five-fors. Wickets by seamers have also come cheaper by almost seven runs apiece.

Pace v spin at Lord's since 2009
Bowling type Mat Wkts Ave SR Eco 5/10w
Pace 12* 318 30.46 56.2 3.25 15/2
Spin 12* 91 37.39 70.7 3.17 3/0

* Australia played Pakistan in a neutral Test at Lord's in 2010

From India's perspective, the best time for their spinners to bowl at the England batsmen would be the final session on the third day and the first two sessions of the fourth day. This is when when spinners have been most effective at Lord's in recent times. Of the 91 wickets taken by spinners since 2009, 41 have come in these three sessions. Spinners have averaged 22.10 during these sessions and have had to bowl around 41 balls for each wicket. In the rest of the match, they have averaged 52.55 and have a strike rate of 94.6.

Best sessions for spin at Lord's, since 2009
Sessions Mat Wkts Ave SR Eco
Day 3 - session 3, Day 4  - session 1 & 2 12 40 22.10 40.7 3.26
Other sessions 12 51 52.55 94.6 3.33

Given the conditions, England batsmen have not had much trouble against spinners either, and have done much better than their opposition at this venue. In 11 Tests since 2009, England batsmen averaged 39.17 at Lord's, while other batsmen averaged almost 15 runs fewer. Visiting batsmen have only seven hundreds in these 11 Tests, half the number of hundreds England managed during the same time.

Ian Bell and Joe Root have done remarkably well at this venue. Bell has 1205 runs at an average of 57.38 and his last four innings here have produced one hundred and two fifties. Root has scored 512 runs from six innings at an average of 102.40 and two of his last three scores at Lord's are 180 against Australia last summer, and an unbeaten 200 against Sri Lanka last month. Alastair Cook, though, remains a worry for England, given his recent slump in form and also because Lord's hasn't been kind to Cook for some time now. Since the India Test in 2011, Cook has scored 246 runs at this ground at an average of 20.50, with only one fifty-plus score in 12 innings.

Batsmen at Lord's, since 2009
Team Mat Runs HS Ave SR 100/50s
England 11 6582
226 39.17
56.2 14/32
Opposition 11 5246 193 24.74 47.7 7/26

England batsmen at Lord's
Batsman Inns Runs HS Ave 100/50s
Alastair Cook 30 1206
106 41.58
Ian Bell 26 1205 199 57.38 4/8
Matt Prior 22 871 126* 45.84 3/4
Stuart Broad 18 648 169 43.20 1/3
Joe Root 6 512 200* 102.40 2/1

England batsmen may have also benefited from batting first regularly on a pitch that is at its best on the first day of the Test. Since 2009, batsmen have averaged 42.49 on the first day at Lord's, a fraction over 14 runs more than the average for the other four days. Batsmen average the worst on the fourth day of the Test, scoring just over 26 for every wicket. Of the eight Tests England have won here in the last five years, they batted first in seven. They batted second in the only Test they lost - to South Africa. In the last ten Tests with a result at Lord's, nine have been won by teams batting first.

Day-wise batting stats at Lord's, since 2009
Day of play Runs Dismissals Ave SR
Day 1 2847 67 42.49 50.8
Day 2 3272 110 29.75 55.1
Day 3 2769 96 28.84 50.3
Day 4 2559 98 26.11 52.8
Day 5 2635 49 27.57 51.3

Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adi on July 17, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    It will be interesting to see these statistics if you remove Bangladesh, NZ and West Indies, who have played 4 of the 11 test matches at Lord's since 2009. With all due respect, these teams haven't been at the top of their game for a while now.

  • Dummy4 on July 16, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    " What is wrong with Indian Cricket? Cant we produce decent fast bowlers? "

    No, we can't. It is because in India, cricket is considered primarily a batsman's game. People in India don't prefer to even watch a game in which their side (whether it is the national, regional, state or even their bank team or school team) is bowling; they only want to see their batting! Even little kids when they play street cricket, think of bowling as a boring activity, almost as a punishment..

    So the inability to produce decent fast bowlers seems to be culturally ingrained. It can't be fixed by having a few pace bowling camps etc. The change has to come from the ground up.

  • Neil on July 16, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    It appears that Lords does not assist spinners. In that case, bring in Ashwin for Jadeja, Aaron for Binny, Gambhir for Dhawan and Rohit for Rahane. Amazing that Dhoni is considered untouchable as a Test match keeper, but Naman Ohja based on his centuries on the trot against Aussie A team should be given a chance in this series ahead of Dhoni. Dhoni can continue to earn lots of money playing the T20s.....

  • Gautam on July 16, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Major problems with the Indian pace bowling. If anyone is following the Indian A tour of Australia, you will notice that our batsmen are scoring and also our bowlers are allowing to score.

    What is wrong with Indian Cricket? Cant we produce decent fast bowlers?

  • Dummy4 on July 16, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    Hence it shows the team batting first will have an upper hand ! Team winning the toss will look to bat first for sure.. If Binny hadnt saved the last match, R.Ashwin & Jadeja's inclusion might have proved good.. But guess Indian will be unchanged and for England Jimmy's inclusion is under question for sludging incident ! Hope this test will be more interesting than the 1st one.. Indian seamers should step up especially Shami as he has the ability to reverse the ball.. All the best for both teams