England are squaring up to face Australia in the second Test match tomorrow on an Edgbaston pitch several days behind in its preparation following last week's tornado.
Steve Rouse, the head groundsman at Edgbaston, believes he is four days behind where he would like to be in his preparation following the tornado which swept through and devastated surrounding areas of south Birmingham last Thursday.
England, trailing 1-0 in a five-match series in their quest to regain the Ashes, added Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood to their squad after inspecting the damp pitch on Monday. Even bright sunshine then and yesterday failed to lift Rouse's spirits.
"I've been devastated about this," he said. "You work up to this all season and when the weather comes down like that and you can't do anything you sometimes wonder whether it's all worth it.
"You have to tell yourself it's all part of the job, but you can never trust the English weather.
"I've never been so far behind prior to a Test match before. We're probably about four days behind in our preparation - it won't be a quick wicket, that's for sure."
Warwickshire could have had far more serious problems had the tornado passed nearer than 400 yards of it. The match could have been cancelled or re-arranged at a different venue.
The pitch has taken time to recover from three inches of rain in four days and one inch in only a minute at the tornado's height.
Rouse said: "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.
"It was frightening what happened and the covers that were supposed to be out there were just floating on top of the water. Up until then our preparations were fine. It was damp but you can usually water it up until a couple of days before - it's been the worst possible preparation leading up to the Test match."
England and Warwickshire left-arm orthodox spinner Ashley Giles says media criticism of his performance in the first Test match at Lord's was akin to "school bullying".
He bore the brunt of the 239-run defeat after taking nine wickets in the first Test there against West Indies last summer before repeating the trick at Edgbaston. He believes the criticism is "over the top".
"Maybe people have got short memories," he said. "All I wanted was to have the right of reply and sometimes those in the media don't like that, they get together and it's a bit like school bullying."
Giles, asked his view on keeping the same team or bringing in Collingwood, said: "It's going to be up to the powers that be. I've been to look at the wicket, it's a little bit soft, a little bit like plasticine so I'm praying for a bit more sun on it really for the next couple of days.
"This is their job - to pick the best side on a particular wicket and if they think I'm not going to play a part on that wicket then fair enough, but of course I want to play every game possible for England."