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Why this 66/1 chance can be England’s top scorer v India

| 07.07.2014

In the last 10 years around the world, there are only two grounds in Test cricket that have been more of a fast-bowling paradise than Trent Bridge, the venue for the first of England’s five-match series with India.

Only South Africa’s Centurion and the Wanderers better the Nottingham venue for wickets taken by pace bowling since January 2003, with Trent Bridge claiming 292 seam scalps from 10 matches in that period.

While that bodes well for the likes of Jimmy Anderson against a touring side so short of red-ball experience in this country (link), England’s batters will have a few worries of their own over the prospect of walking to the Trent Bridge wicket.

No willow waver, from the recent past or the present, has averaged more than 40 at the ground, with current squad members as Alastair Cook (21.50), Ian Bell (38.30) and Matt Prior (31.55) all struggling.

As former luminaries Kevin Pietersen (38.78), Andrew Strauss (33.40) and Jonathan Trott (24.28) have also struggled it doesn’t bode well for England’s new dawn.

Should a collapse come in their first innings against India, one man could be the saviour late on in the order.

Stuart Broad has the highest average of any recent English Test player at Trent Bridge, with his 313 runs from five Tests there giving him a mark of 39.12.

At 66/1 to be the side’s top first-innings scorer, Broad is by no means as out of the running for the prize as the betting suggests.

The Nottingham seamer has three scores over fifty for England on his home ground, the last of which came in his last appearance there during the 2013 Ashes. Two of his three half centuries came in the first dig.

If all of that seems implausible, one of England’s newly-capped batsmen look a good shout considering they are unscarred by the ground. Gary Ballance and Sam Robson are both 9/2, while Moeen Ali is at 6.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.