England v India, 1st Test, Lord's July 18, 2007

India's worst venue

Fresh from a comprehensive series win against West Indies, England have plenty of reasons to be confident of putting it across India in the first Test at Lord's



Sachin Tendulkar: 96 runs in five Test innings at Lord's, for an average of 19.20 © AFP

Fresh from a comprehensive series win against West Indies, England have plenty of reasons to be confident of putting it across India in the first Test at Lord's. Since 2000, they've won eight Tests and lost just three here, two of them to Australia. India, on the other hand, have traditionally struggled in the first Test of an overseas series, while their record at Lord's is quite pathetic - ten defeats and just a solitary victory in 14 matches.

Some of the individual performances have been stunning - Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly all come to mind - but as a team they have hardly covered themselves with glory here. Their only moment to savour came in 1986, when the Kapil Dev-led team eased to a five-wicket win. That has been their lone win, while they have suffered defeats on ten occasions, including one by an innings and 285 runs - the biggest margin of defeat at Lord's - and a 170-run thrashing on their previous visit in 2002.

Clearly, Lord's isn't a favourite venue for India: apart from England, no team has lost as often here. (South Africa and West Indies, with seven losses apiece, are next in the list.) Also, India haven't lost as often at any other ground: Eden Gardens is next in the list for them with eight defeats, while they've been beaten seven times at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Team records for Lord's
Team Matches Won Lost Drawn
India 14 1 10 3
England 112 42 27 43

Though the three most recent matches at Lord's have ended in draws, 11 of the 12 Tests before that produced decisive results. And of the six games that have been held in July in this decade, five have ended decisively.

Historically, batting first or second hasn't mattered a great deal, with each winning 35 times. The toss has had some importance, though: 40 times the team winning the toss has won the match. Of the 11 decisive results since 2000, seven have gone the way of the team winning the toss. (Click here for an overall summary of all Tests at Lord's.)

Lord's has been favourable to batsmen this decade, and the average runs per wicket here since 2002 is higher than any other English venue, marginally ahead of The Oval.

Average runs per wicket at English Test grounds (since 2002)
Ground Matches Runs scored Average 100 50
Lord's 11 13782 42.27 35 59
The Oval 5 5562 41.81 11 25
Headingley 5 5984 36.71 14 21
Old Trafford 5 5749 34.84 11 19
Edgbaston 5 5521 34.08 11 17
Trent Bridge 5 5842 32.27 9 26
Chester-le-Street 3 2650 30.81 4 13

England fare even better, with their batsmen averaging 49.62 in the same period. The inexperienced Indian bowling line-up could have their hands full against the current England line-up, especially considering their record at Lord's.

England's batting line-up at Lord's
Player Matches Innings Runs Average 100 50
Michael Vaughan 9 15 757 54.07 5 1
Andrew Strauss 7 12 738 61.50 3 2
Kevin Pietersen 4 7 476 79.33 2 2
Paul Collingwood 3 5 391 78.20 2 1
Alastair Cook 3 5 368 73.60 2 2
Ian Bell 4 7 319 79.75 2 1
Matt Prior 1 2 147 147 1 0

The runs haven't come as easily for Sachin Tendulkar, though. He has 80 scores of more than 50 in Tests, but none of them have come at Lord's, where he averages 19.20 in five innings, with a highest of just 31.

The Lord's track hasn't offered much to the bowlers of late: in 11 Tests since 2002, they've conceded 41.89 runs per wicket for the 314 scalps. The fast bowlers have done better than the spinners, though both records are equally unimpressive.

Pace v Spin at Lord's since 2002
Bowling style Wickets Average
Pace 250 40.72
Spin 64 46.45

Monty Panesar, however, will be in a confident frame of mind, having picked up 6 for 129 in West Indies' first innings in the drawn Test in May this year. In general, though, it's been hard work for bowlers: the last 10-wicket haul at Lord's was in 2003. Makhaya Ntini had match figures of 10 for 220 as South Africa beat England by an innings and 92 runs.