Bat first, post a high score, and win - the mantra of victory in Manchester

back icon
safari
10 Sep 2021 | 04:06 AM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

Bat first, post a high score, and win - the mantra of victory in Manchester

The Old Trafford has been a good wicket to bat in the first innings and hence teams batting first have won five out of six Tests since 2015

The two Old Traffords in Manchester will gear up for exciting events this weekend. Firstly, and probably the biggest, would be the homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday for Manchester United and the other would be the last Test between England and India that starts on Friday. With mouth-watering contests and tons of excitement, Manchester is certainly the place to be in England this weekend. 

But. let's focus on cricket as the series is poised perfectly for India. They would be happy with a draw that will fetch them their fourth series win on English soil. But, knowing Virat Kohli, that wouldn’t be the approach from this pack of wolves led by a strong and determined alpha. However, they will be playing their last match of the series in a venue where they haven’t won historically. India have lost four matches and drawn five at Old Trafford.

The Old Trafford in recent times has been a mixed bag. There is a bit of help for the bowlers and with application, batsmen too have excelled, especially in the first innings. To be precise, this venue has been a wonderland for the teams batting first, which is a rare sight in non-Asian conditions. On average, teams have scored 435 runs in the first innings since 2015, which is the second-best for any venue in non-Asian conditions that has seen five-plus matches.

Better the conditions to bat, poorer the bowling strike rates and bowling average. Bowlers have picked up wickets at a strike rate of 85.5 and an average of 46.9 in Tests since 2015. Only two non-Asian venues have been poorer than Old Trafford for bowlers in the first innings. Sydney’s SCG (53.5 average at 95.1) and Melbourne’s MCG (48.7 average at 97.2) are the two. Hence, teams batting first have won five out of the six matches played since 2015. In the only loss, Pakistan had scored 326 and this is the only below 350 score. 

THE SHIFT IN SUPREMACY

Similar to the Oval strip, Old Trafford’s characteristics change in the second innings. A batting paradise in the first innings turns into a complete potter’s field in the second. A regularity of 400 is a distant galaxy, the highest score itself is just 301 in the second innings. The average score in the second innings dips to 238, which is almost 197 runs dip and a 45 percent dip. The 45 percent dip is the second-highest for a venue that has seen 10+ innings.  

This means, better bowling performances, and the supremacy shifts towards the bowlers. They have bagged wickets at a strike rate of 47.7 and an average of 22.9. The majority of those wickets have belonged to the pacers. In the aforementioned time, only in Johannesburg (38.7) and Port Elizabeth (42.2) have the strike rates been better than Old Trafford in non-Asian venues.

AN EXPECTATION OF A DRY PITCH?

Though it has been the pacers who have had the upper hand in Tests at Old Trafford, there is a ray of hope for the spinners. In the recently concluded 100 men’s competition, Old Trafford was the best pitch for spinners. In terms of economy or average or strike rate, the spinners were the best at Old Trafford with a strike rate of 16.7 and an average of 16.1 and conceded less than 6.

England have added Jack Leach into their squad, which could be a certain indication of the pitch being a dry one. This could be a sign that Ravichandran Ashwin could pair with Ravindra Jadeja in the last Test, if it happens that is!

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
England vs IndiaEngland vs IndiaIndiaEngland

Related Articles

safari
FANTASY
England vs India, fifth Test, Old Trafford: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you in creating your fantasy team that could earn points from the fifth fixture of the series
usercricket.com staff
09 Sep 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
Focus on batsmen as India aim to wrestle-back advantage with series on the line
In what promises to be a good batting day at The Oval, the Indian batsmen will look the right the wrongs of the first innings
userAnirudh Kasargod
04 Sep 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
Determined India look to dent England’s charge on day two
Despite having been bowled out for 191, there might be light at the end of the tunnel for the visitors
userAnirudh Kasargod
03 Sep 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
The curious case of spin at The Oval
The Kennington Oval has been the most spin friendly among all the non-Asian venues in Tests since 2015
userAnirudh Kasargod
02 Sep 2021
safari
OPINION
Sibley and Root stand between India and an imminent victory
In Tests since 2019, Indian pacers have bagged wickets at a strike rate and an average better than all sides in the second innings
usercricket.com staff
07 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
Beta test before the big event for India, England
With the World Test Championship Finals sealed, the concentration shifts towards the biggest competition of the shortest format.
userAnirudh Kasargod
09 Mar 2021
safari
FANTASY
England v Australia, 2nd ODI, Old Trafford: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you in creating your fantasy team for the second ODI between England and Australia slated to be held at Old Trafford, in Manchester
userAnirudh Kasargod
12 Sep 2020
safari
FANTASY
England v Australia, 1st ODI, Old Trafford: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you in creating your fantasy team for the first ODI between England and Australia slated to be held at Old Trafford, in Manchester
userAnirudh Kasargod
10 Sep 2020
safari
YEAR-END REVIEW
ODI Team of the Year, 2019
Here is an XI acknowledging the best performers in ODI cricket this year
userCricket.com Staff
30 Dec 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
Ashes: Cricketers who stood out at Old Trafford
With the Ashes tied at 1-1, a look at some of the cricketers who performed on a consistent basis at Manchester
userPramod Ananth
06 Sep 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved