India in England: Batsmen may Breathe Easy in 1st Test as Curator Hints at 'All-Round' Pitch

Updated: 06 July 2014 15:02 IST

The first Test between India and England starts on July 9 at Trent Bridge. This is the first time India are playing a five-match Test series in England since 1959.

India in England: Batsmen may Breathe Easy in 1st Test as Curator Hints at 'All-Round' Pitch
MS Dhoni (L) and Virat Kohli (R) at a practice session during the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2014. © AFP

Indian batting is as famous for being formidable in the subcontinent as it is infamous for collapsing on green tracks abroad. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his fellow batsmen though may not be challenged immediately by England in the first of five Tests as the Trent Bridge track is expected to assist both batsmen and bowlers equally.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, curator Steve Birks says he is looking to prepare a pitch that offers support to bowlers without being outrightly challenging to batsmen. "The grass is dry, and we have been pushing it in every day," he was quoted as saying ahead of the first Test starting July 9.

"We have been watering around the edges. We don't want teams bowled out for 180." ('There Will Be Questions in Dhoni Loses')

Admitting that having an impartial pitch is a challenge, Birks said that the team which performs well will eventually win regardless of conditions. ('It's Time to Write a Wrong')

"You can't try to keep too many people happy. Bowlers want one thing. Batsmen want one thing. If you can just do your best, it is up to them to perform." (Tendulkar and Dravid: An Unusual Coincidence)

Indian batsmen have traditionally struggled on on green tops and performance has been an issue. The last time India toured England - in 2011 - the visitors lost 4-0. The team is already eying revenge for the whitewash but bowlers in the side will have to step up as much as the batsmen. (Bowlers Key to Success in England: Rahul Dravid)

Newly-appointed batting consultant Rahul Dravid recently said that claiming 20 wickets would be a challenge for the Indian bowlers.

"I think the key is going to be the ability to take 20 wickets," said the former India batsman.

"If the Indians can pitch the ball up and swing it, I think they give themselves a chance," he added.

India haven't won a Test away from home since defeating the West Indies in June 2011 -- a run now stretching to 14 matches. Trent Bridge may just give the side the nudge it needs to erase this statistic.

England are currently smarting from consecutive Test series defeats at the hands of Australia and Sri Lanka. India have won three Test series in England - 1971, 1986 and 2007.

Incidentally, England won their last Test series against India when they beat the world champions in their own backyard in 2012.

Topics : India in England, 2014 India England MS Dhoni Cricket
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