Statistics set to sway coin toss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Statistics set to sway coin toss

By Adam Cooper 04/08/2005 05:27:39 AM Comments (0)

Edgbaston's rain-hit wicket and the ground's recent history will be factors running through the minds of rival captains Ricky Ponting and Michael Vaughan at the coin toss before the second Ashes cricket Test, which starts on Wednesday.

The Edgbaston wicket only just survived heavy rain and a tornado that lashed Birmingham last week, and both skippers are unsure exactly how the pitch will play, although pacemen look like benefiting most.

Australia leads the series 1-0.

England skipper Vaughan admitted it might be a good toss to lose, while his Australian counterpart Ponting said the ground's recent record of favouring teams that batted second could influence his decision if the coin lands his way.

England's win over the West Indies last year was the first time in 13 Tests at Edgbaston - a stretch dating back to 1990 - where the team which batted first went on to win the match.

"It would have to make you think about what you're going to do, yeah, when you see those sort of stats," Ponting said.

Australia will play the same XI which won the first Test at Lord's, by 239 runs, while England is set to do the same, and will announce its side before the match.

Durham allrounder Paul Collingwood, who was brought into the squad as another bowling option, has been released.

Wednesday will be the first of 10 scheduled days of cricket over the next 12, as the third Test, at Old Trafford, starts next Thursday.

Ponting was confident his side could handle the arduous task of back-to-back Test matches, and had no concerns with key bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, both 35, getting through the tough stretch.

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