Home > Features >

India vs England 1st Test: Thoughts from Trent Bridge

 India vs England 1st Test: Thoughts from Trent Bridge
English cricketers at the practice session on Tuesday ahead of the first Test at Trent Bridge against India © AFP

By Arunabha Sengupta

A day before the Test, Trent Bridge is bathed in sunshine, the few clouds that hover around are whitish, good-natured, harmless. It is warm enough for the press box windows to be pushed ajar. It is one of those glorious days when the god of cricket is in heaven and the sound of willow on leather cuts through the air in beats of celestial music.

It is quite a change from what it had been for the last few days. The lady in the reception at the Bed and Breakfast gave me a smile as she declared, “You have brought the sun with you.”

The BBC weather tells us it is going to rain is likely later in the afternoon, get steadily heavier towards the evening. Light rains are expected to interrupt the proceedings on Thursday when India take on England in the first of the five-match Test series, heavier ones on Saturday. The locals cheerfully predict lots of sunshine and rain, which is not too cheery news for cricket. Some stoppages seem to be on the cards, which would be a pity, with the ground all but crying out for a good full game of cricket.

In the ground, the English cricketers go through a long stint at the nets as the sun beats down. The intensity levels rise with passing hours. Stuart Broad slowly increases his pace. The focus remains steadfastly on the basics, line, length and a straight bat – especially for Alastair Cook. On the third practice pitch, across the ground on the other side of the main playing area, he is given a thorough session against short balls, delivered with slingers from half pitch. The Indians are scheduled to appear later, in the early afternoon – just when the showers are supposed to start their antics.

The press box is also warming up, slowly, with the chatter less about the game and more about anecdotes, cricketing or otherwise. It gets somewhat louder after Derek Pringle walks in. The pitch looks innocent enough from this distance, but who knows whether there is some clever devilry beneath the surface of calm. James Anderson and Broad have revelled bowling here. The surface looks barren enough to neutralise the historical advantage, but one can never say until a session of real cricket has been played.

From the top of the Radcliffe Road End stand, one can squint in the direction far ahead where once upon a time Robin Hood’s merry men romped about with abandon. The Sherwood Forest has long receded, the Nottingham Forest is merely a football club with the City Ground stadium bordering the cricket stadium.

Ironically, none of the teams can be termed merry, especially when in the immediate history. However, both have their eyes on their targets, eager to hit the mark, keen to come out of the woods. From that point of view the setting could not have been more apt.

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry.He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Ishant Sharma — Is his current ODI form good enough to earn him a place in ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The birth of Day Night cricket matches

Phillip Hughes head injury: Are helmets making batsmen complacent?

Australia Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes head injury South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 2

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 2

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Phil Hughes passes away

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 2

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Ishant Sharma — Is his current ODI form good enough to earn him a place in ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The birth of Day Night cricket matches

Phillip Hughes head injury: Are helmets making batsmen complacent?

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Emraan Hashmi: In Bollywood everybody does Ungli!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Xiaomi Redmi Note registration open; priority access for #FlipkartFirst customers!

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 28 of your pregnancy

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Phillip Hughes dies in hospital after suffering a blow in the head

विपाशा बासु: पिनकेथॉन महिलाओं को जागरूक करने का महत्वपूर्ण प्लैटफॉर्म

Daddy Anil Kapoor to take Sonam Kapoor on a French holiday!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here