EDGBASTON – If one English ground was designed to test the backbone of the Australian cricket team it is “fortress Edgbaston” where the visitors will be offered a red-hot welcome today.
Raucous Edgbaston is about as far removed from the refined surrounds of Lord’s as it can get - especially the notorious Eric Hollies stand, the spiritual home of England’s vociferous Barmy Army.
Australian batsman David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft will be assured of some “special treatment” as they return to the Test fold after their parts in the sandpaper-gate scandal which resulted in bans.
“The one thing that really stands out for Edgbaston is that it can get very loud, very raucous,” Ian Bell, whose home ground is Edgbaston and who played in seven Ashes series, told the Daily Telegraph.
“Out of all the grounds that we have, Edgbaston can be quite an intimidating atmosphere for away teams. Having spoken to some of the Aussies in the past, that it is the one ground that they seem to cop it a little bit more in terms of abuse from the boundary.