The first Ashes Test match saw Ian Bell end up England’s leading runscorer by some distance amidst a sea of inconsistent performances from his fellow batsmen. At Lord’s however, he may have to play second fiddle in the scoring stakes to another willow-wielder, for whom misfortune at Trent Bridge should prove an added motivation.
There can be few schoolboy cricketers for whom registering a century at the ‘home of cricket’ is not towards the top of the list of cricketing ambitions and five of the current England XI have had the pleasure of doing so.
Yet of the five men in the current England XI – Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior and Stuart Broad – to have posted triple-digit scores for their country at Lord’s, only Trott and Prior have managed more than a single ton.
Of the pair, Trott was arguably the better performer in the first Test, despite falling for a golden duck in the second innings.
The lbw call which did for him was sufficiently controversial for the ECB to discuss the matter with the ICC after the third umpire gave the hosts’ number three out – ignoring visual evidence of a deviation in the ball’s path which looked likely to have been caused by the bat.
Trott seemed mystified by the decision at the time and will have been disappointed not to get the chance to improve upon a solid 48 in the first innings in Nottinghamshire.
With the extra incentive of having been on the wrong end of that highly questionable decision in the first Test, he’ll be especially pleased that Lord’s has been chosen as the arena in which he may potentially exact his revenge upon the fates.
The South Africa-born batsman has comfortably the highest average in Tests at Lord’s of any of his teammates – 69.58, with Broad next highest on 44.30 – and looks potentially the pick of a trio of players on 7/2 to be top England runscorer at Lord’s, ahead of Cook and Pietersen.
His average is fairly skewed by two massive scores of 226 and 184 against Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively, but that pair of bumper knocks both came within his last three Test innings at the ground.
His consistency at Lord’s is still fairly irreproachable, with 236 more runs accumulated in the St John’s Wood stadium than Cook, despite having played four less Test innings there than his skipper. Furthermore, he’s yet to play a poor Test there, with 60 his lowest match run total to date.
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