Is Trent Bridge really a graveyard for teams that tour England?

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Ben Stokes celebrates his stunning catch during the 2015 Ashes Test in Nottingham.

The third Test of the five-match series between England and India starts at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Saturday.

Historically, the ground’s pitch is conducive to seam and swing and is a venue in which England always enjoy playing at.

And given the hosts are 2-0 up going into the match, Joe Root and his men will be confident about sealing the series against a below-par India.

But, has Trent Bridge been a graveyard for visiting teams down the years, or is that just a myth? We’ve taken a closer look at the stats.

A bit of a history lesson

The famous old ground has been an icon for England for well over a century, given the venue hosted its first Test match between England and Australia in 1899.

Overall, 62 Tests have been played at Trent Bridge – the eighth most out of any ground in history, with 61 involving England. Way back in 1912, a one-off clash was held between Australia and South Africa.

But of the 61 in which England have played, they have won 22 times and lost on 17 occasions, with the other matches ending in draws (22).

Although the history books suggest England’s overall record isn’t as dominant as many assume, their recent return has been excellent. Which is why touring teams probably enter the match with some deal of trepidation.

Arguably, Stuart Broad’s famous 8-15 in the resounding innings and 78-run win over Australia in the 2015 Ashes Test is the most notable, with the ball doing all sorts off the track against high-class batsmen including Steve Smith and Michael Clarke.

Since 2000, 16 Test matches have been contested at Trent Bridge and England have won nine of them – including five consecutive triumphs in 2008 (New Zealand), 2010 (Pakistan), 2011 (India), 2012 (West Indies) and their 2013 Ashes success.

In this same time frame, three matches were drawn and England suffered four defeats – with the most recent of those coming last year, against South Africa, by a huge 340-run margin.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 17: England captain Joe Root is bowled by Chris Morris of South Africa during day four of the 2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge on July 17, 2017 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

South Africa thumped England at Trent Bridge last summer.

And then back in 2014, England and India began their five-match Test series, which ended in a 3-1 win for the hosts, with a draw.

The Men in Blue have lost twice in the five Test matches in which they have participated in at Trent Bridge.

England and India first met in a Test in 1959, with the hosts winning by an innings and 59 runs.

And then in 1996, it was a draw between the two nations. The three-match series saw Test debuts for both Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

The home side ended up winning 1-0 and six years later Trent Bridge saw another draw between the two sides, with the four-match duel finishing 1-1.

It was in 2007 though where India’s greatest triumph came. The tourists overcame England by seven wickets in the Trent Bridge Test and went on to win the series 1-0. Zaheer Khan was the star of the show then, claiming nine wickets in Nottingham.

NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 30: Zaheer Khan of India celebrates the wicket of Ian Bell of England during day four of the Second Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge on July 30, 2007 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Zaheer Khan wheels away after claiming another wicket during the 2007 Test.

England did get some revenge in 2011, winning at the Bridge by 319 runs and clinching the series 4-0 in the process, which is remembered for Kevin Pietersen’s 533-run haul and 25 wickets for Broad.

As mentioned, the most recent contest in 2014 ended in a stalemate meaning England have two wins and India have a solitary success at Trent Bridge, with two draws from the five meetings.

That record will certainly encourage India but Virat Kohli’s men will have in the back of their minds that England seem to have a habit of turning it on at Trent Bridge when the conditions work in their favour.

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Coach Bayliss delighted by England's performance in the absence of Ben Stokes

David Clough 13/08/2018
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England coach Trevor Bayliss.

England have vindicated Trevor Bayliss’ confidence that they can set aside Ben Stokes’ absence and produce their A game against India.

Bayliss never expected his players to be distracted by their team-mate’s ongoing court case, and so it proved as they went 2-0 up on the tourists with a commanding innings victory in the second Test.

It took the selectors less than 24 hours to confirm an unchanged 13-man squad, again missing Stokes, whose affray case clashed with the Lord’s Test but is set to be concluded before England head to Nottingham on Thursday to prepare for the third match of five.

Asked if he was ever concerned events elsewhere might put England off, Bayliss said: “The results speak for themselves.

“The guys are able to put anything off field out of their mind and concentrate on what they’re doing, and this was the perfect example.”

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement left open the possibility that Stokes may not yet be entirely out of contention for Trent Bridge.

It read: “The ECB will make an assessment of Ben Stokes’ availability after the trial in Bristol has concluded.”

Ben Stokes' trial is still ongoing.

Ben Stokes’ trial is still ongoing.

Speaking before that Monday afternoon update, Bayliss said: “Obviously that will be something that comes up in the next couple of days. We will make a decision when we know what happens.”

England have been reassured, in Stokes’ absence, by the man-of-the-match performance of his replacement Chris Woakes, who returned from injury at Lord’s to hit a maiden Test century and also finish with four wickets.

Equally impressive was the evergreen brilliance of England’s all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson.

The 36-year-old continues to defy the advance of age and, after his match haul of nine for 43 at Lord’s, becoming the first bowler ever to take 100 Test wickets there, Bayliss voiced his belief that Anderson will be adding many more to his record-breaking career aggregate of 553 victims.

Asked how long Anderson may go on, he said: “I don’t think there’s any age – he keeps surprising everyone. As long as he keeps his body fit there’s no reason why he can’t go on for three or four years.

“A lot of other bowlers do start to drop off mid-30s or so. It’s only the very, very best that are able to keep it going. I think he’s showing that he is the very, very best.”

Anderson, who has an even better record at Trent Bridge, made the most of cloud cover and a green pitch.

Bayliss added: “He’s not just good when the conditions suit him, but in these conditions he’s the best in the world. It’s a test for any batsman in the world to try to face him in these conditions.”

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England name unchanged squad for third Test against India as Ben Stokes misses out

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Ben Stokes' trial is still ongoing.

England have left Ben stokes out of an unchanged 13-man squad for this week’s third Specsavers Test against India at Trent Bridge.

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed, less than 24 hours after the team’s innings-and-159-run victory at Lord’s, that the selectors have stuck with a winning line-up.

Stokes had to miss the second Test because of a clash with his ongoing affray case at Bristol Crown Court.

An outcome to those proceedings is anticipated before England arrive in Nottingham on Thursday, for a match which starts two days later – with the hosts leading the five-match series 2-0.

After Chris Woakes put in a man-of-the-match performance on his return from injury as stokes’ replacement at Lord’s, it was widely-anticipated that the same 13 players would be retained.

A brief ECB statement on Monday afternoon read: “England national cricket selectors have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the third Specsavers Test match against India at Trent Bridge, starting on Saturday August 18.

“The ECB will make an assessment of Ben stokes’ availability after the trial in Bristol has concluded.”

England squad for third Specsavers Test against India at Trent Bridge: JE Root (Captain), AN Cook, KK Jennings, OJD Pope, JM Bairstow (wkt), JC Buttler, CR Woakes, SM Curran, AU Rashid, SCJ Broad, JM Anderson, MM Ali, JA Porter.

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