England will put their brilliant Test record at Edgbaston - 27 wins from 50 matches - on the line in August when India are the visitors for a mouth-watering Test.
Birmingham will host the opening contest of the series between the two great cricketing nations – and the home supporters will be hoping that England’s batsmen can continue their happy history against India at the venue.
At the top of the order for England will be the great Alastair Cook, who has already scored two Test double-centuries at Edgbaston, including an immense 294 (the sixth-highest individual score by an English batsman in Test cricket) against India in 2011.
That monumental knock underpinned a victory by the whopping margin of an innings and 242 runs and added another entry to the list of historic batting feats by England players against India at Edgbaston.
Back in 1974, it was the turn of David Lloyd to take toll of India’s bowlers. Playing in only his second Test the Lancashire opener scored an unbeaten 214 to set up victory by an innings and 132 runs. The innings was to forever remain Lloyd’s biggest in first-class cricket so understandably it is one upon which ‘Bumble,’ now a highly-respected and much-loved broadcaster, reflects with great affection.
“I look back at the 1974 Test very fondly,” he said. “I was proud to get not just a hundred but a double. I never did it again!
“India batted first and our seamers got among them so, by the time we got in, the pitch had flattened out. Their bowling attack was mainly spinners and the pitch wasn’t taking any spin at all so we just kept going. I think I’d still have been batting now if we hadn’t declared.
“I always enjoyed playing at Edgbaston because of the fabulous atmosphere. It’s always been a bit of a fortress for England because the supporters are brilliant and England always play with a lot of confidence there because of that.
“It does make a difference out on the field when you hear the noise and know the fans are right behind you. I loved it and now there had been a really good redevelopment of the ground it’s even better.”
Lloyd will be at this summer’s Edgbaston Test wearing headphones rather than batting helmet, as will another man who can reflect very fondly on facing India there – Nasser Hussain.
The former Essex batsman played one of his most skilful Test innings for England against the Indians in 1996. A tight and engrossing match was tilted England’s way by Hussain, playing against the country of his birth, who made 128 (227 balls, 18 fours, one six). It was an innings which triggered a much-needed England victory and galvanised Hussain’s career – the sort of story Edgbaston Tests so often deliver.
Which England batsmen will be thus inspired in 2018?