England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge

A rough venue for England's batsmen

Stats preview to the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, a ground which has been pretty tough on batsmen over the last ten years

S Rajesh

July 9, 2013

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook was dismissed by his Essex team-mate Tymal Mills, Essex v England, 1st day, Chelmsford, June 30, 2013
Alastair Cook has a highest of 43 not out in 11 Test innings at Trent Bridge, and an average of 19.50 © Getty Images
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Expect a result

The last time a Test at Trent Bridge was drawn was in 2002, when India's power-packed top-order batted 115 overs in their second innings after facing a first-innings deficit of 260. Since then, nine Tests at the ground have all produced decisive results, with England triumphant in seven of those games. The two Tests they lost during this period were both against subcontinent sides: Sri Lanka beat them by 134 runs in 2006, while India snatched a seven-wicket win the following year. Since then, England have won four on the trot, against New Zealand, Pakistan, India and West Indies. (Click here for all results at Trent Bridge since the beginning of 2000.)

As mentioned earlier, no Test has been drawn at Trent Bridge for the last ten years. Since the beginning of 2003, only three other venues have hosted six or more Tests without a single draw - MCG, Wanderers (ten all-result Tests) and Sabina Park (nine all-result Tests).

Tough for batsmen

In these nine Tests at Trent Bridge, the batting average (excluding extras) has been 26.84 runs per wicket. With a six Test cut-off, the only venue with a lower average is Sabina Park, with an average of 24.15. There have been 15 hundreds in these nine Tests - ten of them by England's batsmen, who've averaged 30.37 per wicket, compared to five hundreds and an average of 23.72 by overseas batsmen.

Australia's bowlers will also be happy to see that none of the England batsmen in the current squad average 40 at Trent Bridge. Kevin Pietersen has the best average, of 38.75, but even that's well below his overall Test average in England. Ian Bell has had his problems too: in his first six Test innings here he had scores of 3,3,31,0,0,31, before his 159 against India in 2011 lifted his average into the 30s, which is still much lower than overall average in England.

The two big disappointments in Trent Bridge, though, have been Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott. In 11 innings, Cook has a highest score of 43 not out here, against West Indies last year, while Trott hasn't gone past 38 in six attempts; together they've scored 317 runs in 17 innings at Trent Bridge, at an average of 21.13, with no half-century.

England's batsmen in Tests at Trent Bridge
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Ave in Eng
Kevin Pietersen 7 465 38.75 1/ 2 54.59
Stuart Broad 4 224 37.33 0/ 2 33.33
Matt Prior 4 216 36.00 1/ 1 42.27
Ian Bell 5 249 31.12 1/ 0 52.39
Jonathan Trott 3 122 24.40 0/ 0 56.45
Alastair Cook 6 195 19.50 0/ 0 45.31

Perfect for pace

England's batsmen have all struggled here, but their current lot of fast bowlers all have outstanding records at this venue. James Anderson leads in terms of wickets, with 39 from six Tests at an average of less than 18. His best figures in an innings and in a match have both come at this ground: against New Zealand in 2008 he took 7 for 43, which remain his best in an innings, while his match haul of 11 for 71 against Pakistan in 2010 is the only time he's taken ten in a Test match. In fact, four of his 13 five-fors have been at this ground.

Stuart Broad has also done well here, though only one of his eight five-fors in Tests has been at Trent Bridge. Tim Bresnan has played only two Tests in Nottingham, but he made telling contributions in both, taking seven wickets against India in 2011 and eight against West Indies the following year.

The one bowler who hasn't enjoyed bowling here is Graeme Swann - in three Tests he has three wickets at an average of 65, and an economy rate of 4.50 runs per over. To be fair to him, though, Swann hasn't bowled much here, because the fast bowlers have done all the damage: in three matches he has only bowled 43.2 overs.

England's bowlers in Tests at Trent Bridge
Bowler Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM
James Anderson 6 39 17.74 38.1 4/ 1
Stuart Broad 4 18 21.33 44.9 1/ 0
Tim Bresnan 2 15 15.80 30.8 1/ 0
Steven Finn 1 5 15.60 22.8 0/ 0
Graeme Swann 3 3 65.00 86.6 0/ 0

Over the last ten years, fast bowlers have done better than spinners here, but the difference in averages is far more pronounced for England than for the overseas bowlers.

Pace and spin at Trent Bridge, in Tests since Jan 2003
  Overall Engand's bowlers
  Wickets Average Strike rate Wickets Average Strike rate
Pace 259 27.37 53.3 151 23.31 47.5
Spin 60 31.81 60.5 20 34.10 68.5

The head-to-head contests

Michael Clarke and Shane Watson will probably be two key batsmen for Australia, so here's a look at how they've fared against England's current bowlers.

The stat that stands out in Clarke's table is the amount of success Anderson has had against him: six dismissals in 255 balls, conceding 153 runs, for an average 25.50. Most of his success against Clarke has come in Australia, though - four dismissals conceding 60 runs. However, with a Dukes ball in hand and in conditions expected to favour swing, Anderson will fancy his chances of continuing his domination over Clarke - two more dismissals will make Anderson the most successful Test bowler against Clarke; Ishant Sharma and Dale Steyn are currently leaders, having dismissed him seven times. Clarke, though, has pretty good records against Broad and Swann.

Watson, on the other hand, has a superb record against Anderson, which should be encouraging for Australia given that he will open the batting.

England's bowlers v Clarke in Tests
  Overall In England
Bowler Runs/ Balls Dismissals Average Runs/ Balls Dismissals Average
James Anderson 153/ 255 6 25.50 93/ 114 2 46.50
Graeme Swann 138/ 304 2 69.00 83/ 153 1 83.00
Stuart Broad 89/ 187 2 44.50 66/ 158 2 33.00
Graham Onions 59/ 103 1 59.00 59/ 103 1 59.00
Tim Bresnan 32/ 68 1 32.00 - - -
Steven Finn 30/ 53 1 30.00 - - -
England's bowlers v Watson in Tests
  Overall In England
Bowler Runs/ Balls Dismissals Average Runs/ balls Dismissals Average
James Anderson 217/ 427 3 72.33 69/ 129 1 69.00
Steven Finn 93/ 134 2 46.50 - - -
Graeme Swann 87/ 210 0 - 35/ 71 0 -
Stuart Broad 63/ 161 2 31.50 21/ 55 2 10.50
Graham Onions 50/ 63 2 25.00 50/ 63 2 25.00
Tim Bresnan 24/ 81 2 12.00 - - -

Both Watson and Clarke haven't been bothered much by Swann, who has done much better against Australia's left-handers than right-handers - his average against Australia's right-handers is nearly 50. Against Australia's left-handers, though, Swann has had much more success, dismissing Marcus North five times (average 26), Simon Katich four times (average 18.75), and Michael Hussey four times (average 63.75). The good news for Swann is that Australia will have plenty of left-handers this time around too.

Swann v Australian right- and left-handers in Tests
  Runs Balls Dismissals Average Strike rate
Right-handers 591 1169 12 49.25 97.42
Left-handers 573 1168 17 33.70 68.71
Total 1164 2337 29 40.13 80.58

Among Australia's current bowlers, Peter Siddle is the only one who has bowled more than 100 overs against England. His stats against England's top batmen is a mixed bag: he's had plenty of success against Pietersen and Prior, but his combined figures against Trott and Bell are 1 for 237 off 64.2 overs.

England's batsmen v Peter Siddle in Tests
  Overall In England
Batsman Runs/ Balls Dismissals Average Runs/ Balls Dismissals Average
Alastair Cook 143/ 345 4 35.75 49/ 103 2 24.50
Ian Bell 141/ 195 1 141.00 37/ 69 1 37.00
Matt Prior 109/ 147 5 21.80 75/ 96 2 37.50
Jonathan Trott 96/ 191 0 - 14/ 39 0 -
Kevin Pietersen 83/ 163 4 20.75 32/ 63 2 16.00

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (July 10, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

The stats seem to favour Australia quite a bit here but I doubt that anyone has Australia has favourites, no matter who the final XI is. Australia have a chance, make no mistake about that, but they would need everything to go right for them, and make the right decisions, and have a fair bit go wrong for England too.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2013, 2:26 GMT)

Given the current unusual hot weather we are having, isn't this article pretty pointless? Usually the match would be played under grey skies, but not this time. Should make batting a LOT easier!

Posted by Shan156 on (July 10, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

@Mitty2, yes Hauritz returned better #s than Swann, most Aussie batsmen and bowlers had better averages than ours. But, we still won the series, didn't we? Swann had one telling contribution in the Oval test and made it count. Hauritz had none. Besides, that was Swann's first year in international cricket (not considering his one ODI in 1998) and his first home season. Hauritz, if I remember correct, had been around the team since 2004-2005.

Posted by Shan156 on (July 10, 2013, 1:42 GMT)

Although as a team our record in TB has been pretty good, I have always felt that our batsmen have failed in this venue. This article confirms it. It is shocking that Cook and Trott have poor records here and KP's and Bell's are only mediocre. Why select this as the venue for the first test? If we are to believe media reports, this would be a good pitch to bat in the first two days and aid spin later. I would rather we get a flat wicket with us batting first:-) A good start is very important. I know that we lost the first test in 2005 and barely drew the first test in 2009, yet recovered to register 2-1 wins on both occasions. This time, I prefer we get a great start and continue till the end of the last ashes test in Australia:-)

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

@Mitty2 meh, Hauritz out-bowled Swann, but Swann ended up with the urn ;). Two Ashes series played, two Ashes series won. Can't be doing that badly :p.

Think one of the reasons he's being talked up even more this series is just how bad you were against spin in India and how much trouble he caused a very good Indian batting lineup that's pretty much grown up playing spin bowling from birth. He has a good record against lefties and his nemesis in your side, rather than Clarke, was actually Mike Hussey. However I still don't think he'll be the "tipping point". I don't think our chances rest with our bowlers, but with our batsmen. If we score heavily against your very strong bowling attack, it not only negates your biggest strength but puts pressure on the area of your side that's weakest. If we're needing Swann to win us this series we're in trouble.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 9, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Getting really excited... Can't wait!

With my biased Australian view, I obviously rate our pace attack over England's, but because of the duke ball and the lack of experience, the English attack in English conditions is of the same quality (many would argue better). What's most frightening is the fact that we took just one wicket with the new ball in both tour games albeit on very flat wickets (a reason copeland should be in the squad with his amazing county form and Sayers because of his A success) and historically we have struggled to cope with the duke ball so there's a definite reason right there why England's quicks could prove superior. Just have to hope that starc proves me wrong and patto does what patto does.

Swann has a poor record against us and at notts... So it remains to be seen if he's the 'tipping point' as many postulate. Lyon has definitely improved, and there's hope for him in the fact that the lowly hauritz out bowled swann in '09.

Aus batters: miracle please :)

Posted by popcorn on (July 9, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

This is heart-warming news! Particularly as the Trent Bridge wicket will sssist our fast bowlers, more than theirs.

Posted by valvolux on (July 9, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

All Australian media points to a dust bowl of a pitch - due in part to the weather, but no doubt Englands strategy to bring Swann into the game. England know Australias best chance of winning is in low scoring affairs so I expect this pitch will bleed a few hundreds. Question is will Swann produce when they produce a wicket for him? History suggests not.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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