Patel Could Become Eighth Notts
Man To Represent England In India

Comment and Analysis | 12th November 2012

Given a following wind, confirmed fitness and a logical approach to selection, then England will take to the field in Ahmedabad this week with three Nottinghamshire players in their starting eleven.

Should this happen, then it would be the first occasion that the county has had so many representatives for a Test match in India.

Two of the trio, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad, featured the last time that England toured there, with Samit Patel looking to add to the two Test appearances he made in March. Swann is back in the frame having briefly returned to England to visit his wife and daughter.

If selected, Patel would become the eighth Notts cricketer to play for England in India.

"The opening match in Chennai enabled Graeme Swann to make his Test debut. It’s fair to say it couldn’t have got off to a better start."

The first was batsman Cyril Poole, who made his Test debut in the Third match of the 1951-52 series, played at Eden Gardens, Calcutta (now Kolkata). Scores of 55 and 69 not out sealed a fine introduction for the former Mansfield Town footballer

Poole made 19 at Kanpur and 15 and 3 at Madras but didn’t feature for his country ever again.

Brian Bolus had played in two home Tests against the West Indies before touring India in early 1964. The right-hander opened the batting in a series that returned a fairly dreary outcome with all five matches being drawn. Bolus made four half-centuries in eight innings – his last in Test cricket.

England were already 1-0 up when Derek Randall made his Test debut in the second match of the 1976-77 series. A first innings score of 37 helped his side to double their advantage and record a first-ever win in Calcutta.

Randall played in all of the remaining matches, although a sequence of poor scores left him with a series average of just 12.28.

Perhaps a career that ultimately realised 47 Test appearances might have stalled at that point but the selector kept faith with the ‘Retford Imp’ and he rewarded them by scoring 174 in his next outing – against Australia in the Centenary Test in Melbourne.

Tim Robinson began his 29-match Test career by playing in all five of the 1984-85 fixtures. The opener became the first Nottinghamshire player to score a century in India when he scored 160 in the second match at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.

Chris Lewis was a seasoned international by the time he appeared in the 1993 series. In the second match in Madras he dismissed Manoj Prabhakar – the first Test wicket taken by a Notts bowler on Indian soil. After a first innings duck, Lewis then recorded a score of 117, his only Test century.

England last toured India four years ago – playing just two Tests. The opening match in Chennai enabled Graeme Swann to make his Test debut. It’s fair to say it couldn’t have got off to a better start as the off-spinner had Gautam Gambhir given out lbw to just his third delivery and with the sixth ball he did the same to Rahul Dravid, becoming only the second England bowler after Richard Johnson, to take two wickets in his maiden Test over.

Stuart Broad was omitted from that match but featured alongside his county team-mate for the next Test, in Mohali – and bagged a couple of prize scalps – Sehwag and Dravid.

Assuming he has recovered from a heel injury, that forced him to miss the final warm-up match, Broad will be a shoe-in to begin the series – as will Graeme Swann.

After a run-laden start to the tour it also seems a certainty that Patel will also be involved, making it three Notts boys in the England side.

We wish them all every success.

tunbridge wells

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