England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge
June 1, 2006
Sri Lanka's opportunity to fight back
A lowdown on Trent Bridge, the venue of the third Test between England and Sri Lanka
Down 1-0 in the series with only one match to go, Sri Lanka are in a must-win situation going into the last Test of the series at Trent Bridge. Through the first two matches Sri Lanka have been fighting rearguard battles, but Trent Bridge might offer them the best opportunity to get one past England, whose record here isn't that encouraging. Despite winning their last three matches here - against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - England only have a 16-14 win-loss record. The ratio of 1.14 (wins/losses) is the worst among all venues in the country - it's 3 at Edgbaston (21/7), 1.94 at The Oval (35/18), 1.55 at Lord's (42/27), 1.5 at Old Trafford (21/14) and 1.4 at Headingley (28/20).
Marcus Trescothick: still searching for that elusive Test century at Trent Bridge
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Sri Lanka have never played a Test here, but the conditions are likely to suit them more than in other England venues: since 2000, spinners have taken their wickets here at 27.09 runs apiece, while each wicket has cost the fast bowlers 31.77. Shane Warne has a haul of 29 wickets in four matches at an average of 17.72; coming off a bagful of wickets at Edgbaston, Muttiah Muralitharan could be quite a handful here.
Moreover, England's top players all have pretty ordinary records at this venue. Andrew Flintoff, their captain and talismanic figure over the last one year, has a batting average of 29.90 and a bowling average of 51.61. The difference of 21.71 between those two stats is the highest for him among all grounds in England.
Marcus Trescothick has had a pretty lean trot as well, with just 289 runs in eight completed innings. Nottingham is the only English venue where Trescothick hasn't yet scored a Test hundred. His opening partner, Andrew Strauss, has fared even worse, while Kevin Pietersen, England's star batsman of the series so far, scored 45 and 23 in his only two Test innings here, against Australia last year.
Matthew Hoggard, England's most consistent bowler over the last couple of years, has struggled at Trent Bridge as well, averaging 38.83 runs per wicket, exactly ten more than career stats.
Unlike some other grounds in England where the captain winning the toss has inserted the opposition in, Trent Bridge has been almost completely a bat-first venue - in 52 matches, only six times has the team winning the toss taken the field.
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo
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