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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here