England v Australia, 4th Test, Trent Bridge
August 24, 2005
Happy memories for Australia
What the numbers say about Trent Bridge, the venue for the fourth Ashes Test
Glenn McGrath: 12 wickets at 15.58 at Trent Bridge
© Getty Images|
Australia have been fighting rearguard battles for most of the last two Tests, but a ten-day break and their record at the Nottingham, the venue of the fourth Test, might just make them feel better. In 20 matches here, Australia have only lost three, winning seven and drawing ten. Also, they haven't lost at Trent Bridge since 1977, when Ian Botham and Bob Willis took five-fors, and Geoff Boycott scored 187 runs in the match and was dismissed only once. In six Tests since then, Australia have won four - including the last two, in 2001 and 1997 - and drawn two. (Click here for Australia's results at Trent Bridge.)
For England, on the other hand, Trent Bridge has brought mixed results - 15 wins and 14 losses in 50 matches. However, their recent form here has been slightly more encouraging - four wins and two losses in the last ten games, and, like Australia, England have also won two of their most recent matches here, the last one being a four-wicket win against New Zealand last year, achieved by scoring 284, the highest fourth-innings target chased at this ground.
Like Old Trafford, Trent Bridge too seems to be a win-the-toss-and-bat venue - only six times in 51 matches has the captain calling correctly gone against that principle. Interestingly, though, the team which has opted to field first hasn't yet lost a match here.
In the last ten Tests, four have been stalemates, which is consistent with Nottingham's overall draw percentage of 43. In fact, only Old Trafford, with 48%, has a higher ratio of draws among Test venues in England.
Here's a good reason why teams tend to bat first on winning the toss - in all Tests here since 1996, the average first innings lasts 119 overs, which is sixth-highest among all venues which have hosted at least five Tests in the last ten years. However, the pitch here generally tends to favour the batsmen for at least three days, as the innings-wise runs per wicket statistic illustrates - 38.34, 40.90, 23.69 and 32.22 for the four innings (since 1996).
|Ave overs in 1st innings (since 1996)|
||No. of Tests
|Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
|St John's, Antigua
|The Oval, London
|Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Fast bowlers have taken the bulk of the wickets here - 227 out of 261 - in the last ten years, at a much better average compared to the spinners - 31.58 to 39.85. Of the ten five-fors at this venue since 1996, nine have gone to fast bowlers, but the only spinner in that list is still going strong, and will be a huge factor over the next five days: four years back, Shane Warne had destroyed England, taking 6 for 33 in the second innings of a match which Australia went to win by eight wickets.
Warne is the only Australian to have played three Tests at Trent Bridge, and like most England venues, he has enjoyed bowling in this one as well, taking 21 wickets at just 18.14. Glenn McGrath, the other England tormentor over the past decade, hasn't done badly here either - his stats read 12 wickets in two games at 15.58. The batsmen, though, haven't had as much success: between them, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden have played eight innings, and the only half-century was Gilchrist's 54 in 2001.
Meanwhile, England's captain has had more success than the current Australian one: Michael Vaughan's three Tests here have fetched him 274 runs at an impressive rate of 54.80. And among the bowlers, Steve Harmison has been the most consistent, with 13 wickets at 24.38. England's man of the moment, Andrew Flintoff, has some catching up to do, though: in five Tests here, he averages 21 with the bat and 53 with the ball.
S Rajesh is assistant editor of Cricinfo
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