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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Groundsman's Edgbaston pitch fear
Rouse, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath inspect the pitch on Tuesday
Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath also inspected the pitch on Tuesday
Edgbaston groundsman Steve Rouse admits he faces a race against time to prepare the pitch for this week's second Ashes Test between England and Australia.

Rouse says the tornado in Birmingham last week has left him four days behind schedule and he expects a slow pitch.

England have added Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood to their original squad after inspecting the surface.

"It's been the worst possible preparation leading up to the Test match," Rouse admitted.

"I've never been so far behind before. It won't be a quick wicket, that's for sure."

Three inches of rain fell in four days and, although the sun has helped dry out the field, Rouse still has his concerns.

Only three of the last 14 Tests at Edgbaston have been draws with England emerging victorious on seven occasions.

"The wicket has got a crust on the top of it at the moment, but there's still a lot of moisture underneath which isn't surprising after what we had," he added.

"It was frightening what happened and the covers that were supposed to be out there were just floating on top of the water."


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