If India were expecting some respite when they arrived for training on Monday, the sight of the Edgbaston wicket would have put paid to their hopes.
The wicket earmarked for the Test, looked greener than the ones on which the first two matches were played. In fact, there was not much difference between the colour of the lush-green outfield and the square on which the game is to be played.
However, Steve Rouse, Edgbaston’s head groundsman, said the grass would be shaved off on Tuesday. England selector and director of cricket of Warwickshire, Ashley Giles, felt the wicket would assist the spinners and offer reverse swing.
With England on the verge of creating history if they win the Test, it would be interesting to see if they capitalise on the home advantage and go in with a seamer-friendly track.
There were conflicting observations from the players. Ravi Bopara, who is making a comeback as a replacement for the injured Jonathan Trott, said it was a perfect batting track when he last played here in a one-day international.
New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel, who plays for home county, Warwickshire, said surfaces here have been slow. Patel, however, felt the Test wicket might play differently as the groundsmen had worked on it for a long time.
The venue has a history of uneven bounce. In May, Warwickshire were docked eight points for providing a poor quality pitch against the visiting Worcestershire. Former England batsman Vikram Solanki and wicket-keeper Ben Scott were injured during the match. While Solanki was hurt when he ducked against what he thought could be a bouncer, only to be hit on the back of his ear, Scott was struck on the fingers.
However, a ground official said the square used for the county game was different to the one on which the Test would be played.
In the last Test played here, in August last, off-spinners Graeme Swann and Saeed Ajmal had claimed six and five-wicket hauls respectively.