England v Australia, 1st Test, Lord's July 20, 2005

Australia's home away from home



Glenn Mcgrath: ready to strike at his favourite venue © Getty Images

  • Australia will be delighted to kick off their Ashes campaign at Lord's. In 32 Tests here, they've won 13 and lost just five, and the last time England got the better of them here was 71 years back, in 1934. Since then, in 17 matches, Australia have won eight and drawn nine. (Click here for a list of all England-Australia matches at Lord's.)

  • England have had their fair share of success here too, with a 42-26 win-loss record in 108 matches. Moreover, Lord's has turned out to be a pretty lucky venue for them of late - in their last 11 Tests here, they have won eight times, with just two losses. One of those setbacks, though, was against Australia in 2001. (Click here for England's results at Lord's.)

  • The toss doesn't seem to have too much bearing in the result of the game: in the last 12 matches which have produced a decisive result, only six times has the team winning the toss gone on to win the Test. The Australians have been lucky with the toss too at this ground, calling wrongly only once in the last seven tries.

  • The table below suggests that the second and third days are the best for batting at Lord's - the second-innings average of nearly 42 runs per wicket since 2001 is higher than the average runs per wicket for any other innings. The numbers also indicate that the pitch doesn't usually deteriorate much over five days - teams score a healthy 38.5 runs per wicket in the fourth innings. However, in Tests in July during this period, the fourth-innings average drops to 30.8, suggesting that drier conditions cause the pitch to deteriorate enough to offer more assistance to the bowlers. (Click here for an overall summary of matches at Lord's since 2001.)

    Ave. runs/ wkt since 2001 1st innings 2nd innings 3rd innings 4th innings
    37.8 41.9 35.6 38.5

  • The slope at Lord's has often proved disconcerting to many bowlers, but one bowler who has clearly relished conditions here is Glenn McGrath, who is on the threshold of the 500-wicket milestone. In his first Test at the ground, in 1997, he decimated England with outstanding figures of 8 for 38 in the first innings before rain came to England's rescue. Four years later, McGrath completed the job that had been unfinished, taking 8 for 104 as Australia romped home by eight wickets. McGrath was named the Man of the Match on both occasions. Anyone willing to bet against him achieving a hat-trick of awards at Lord's?

  • Shane Warne has an excellent record here - 13 wickets at 22.23 - but Lord's has generally been unfriendly to spinners. Since 2001, spinners have only taken 36 out of 261 wickets, at an average of more than 50.

    Pace/ spin at Lord's Wickets Average 5WI/ 10WM
    Pace 221 35.23 7/ 1
    Spin 36 52.78 1/ 0

  • Going by the recent record here, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss will score more runs than the likes of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. As the table below shows, left-handers have been far more prolific at this ground over the last four years. However, some of that discrepancy could also be explained by the fact that more tail-enders bat right-handed than left.

    Left/ right-handers at Lord's Runs Average 50s/ 100s
    Left-handers 3559 43.40 17/ 9
    Right-handers 5907 31.59 28/ 14

  • England's batsmen have generally had a good time here, but their bowlers haven't enjoyed the Lord's experience as much as their Australian counterparts. If England's top three contribute as much as their average score here, they will be well placed - Marcus Trescothick averages 44.15 from eight Tests, Andrew Strauss 87.20 from three (including a century on debut), and Michael Vaughan 62.50 from eight. Andrew Flintoff's stats aren't bad either - 39.89 from seven. For the bowlers, though, it's a different story - Stephen Harmison (average 33.50), Matthew Hoggard (32.17), Simon Jones (31.31) and Ashley Giles (38) haven't had that much to cheer. Among all of them, there's only been one five-for - Giles's 5 for 81 versus West Indies last year.

    S Rajesh is assistant editor of Cricinfo. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard.

  • Comments