The Ashes is back on Wednesday (AEST) for the 2nd test played at the spiritual home of cricket – Lord’s.
Can the Aussies make it 2-0? Or will the English bounce back after their embarrassing defeat in Edgbaston?
The Likely XI’s
Joe Root (c) Ben Stokes (vc), Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Denly, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach.
Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins (vc), David Warner, Marcus Harris, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon
Australia should head into the second test with just the one change with Cameron Bancroft making way for Marcus Harris. Harris narrowly missed out on playing the first test and went on to impress in Australia’s tour match during the break against Worcestershire in which he made 67 in the second innings.
Bancroft’s form with the bat has been lacking, with the West Australian making 7 and 8 in the first test. The need for a left/right opening combination will be eased with swing-bowler James Anderson missing for the Poms with a calf injury.
James Pattinson may be rested, but the downhill slope of Lord’s should play well into the fast bowler’s hands and could prove pivotal in Australia’s chances. Peter Siddle’s economical performance in the first test should also keep him in the side.
For England, Jofra Archer is destined to make his test debut as he replaces Jimmy Anderson while Jack Leach will replace the out-of-favour Moeen Ali to provide his left arm orthodox spin as England search for answers to combat the form of Steve Smith.
Archer’s lead up into the 2nd test includes taking 6/27 and scoring 108 runs for Sussex’ 2nd XI side against Gloucester’s seconds.
Ali failed with the bat in the 1st test, dismissed by Nathan Lyon in both innings for 0 and 4 respectively. Lyon has now dismissed Ali in eight of his last 10 dismissals against the Aussies.
England ($4.35) Draw ($1.80) Australia ($3.75) per Sportsbet
London’s weather forecast looks to impact the match with rain forecast on day one, day three and day four. Both teams will be likely going in with a ‘look up not down’ mentality which refers to the impact that London’s low cloud or lack of can have on the behaviour of the ball.
Why they can Lose
England’s reliance on Jofra Archer may be their undoing in this second test as Archer has only shown his capabilities at the games shorter forms.Senior batsman such as Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler are also out of form. Australia’s great strength is their bowling and the downhill slope of Lord’s could provide James Pattinson and Pat Cummins with a leg that could unravel the English batsman.
On the other hand, Australia’s top order looked fragile in the first test. When it comes to a batting collapse, Australia is never out of the question. Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes bowled brilliantly in the first innings, and if Archer can work with the red ball, England have every chance to dismiss the Aussies quickly.
Why They Can Win
England will to everything they can top bounce back from their embarrassing defeat in Birmingham. Joe Root will do everything he can, while Rory Burns exceeded expectations. Players like Bairstow and Stokes don’t stay out of form for long, so expect some resilience from these England stalwarts. Could Jack Leach be the man that stops Steve Smith’s decimation of the England bowling attack? If so, expect a barrage of praise headed for the England selection panel.
For Australia, Lord’s has been a happy hunting ground having beaten England at the Home of Cricket four times in six Tests since the start of the century. They have the form, they have the confidence and they have one of the worlds best in Steve Smith. The match, seemingly, is theirs to lose.
Unfortunately, the forecast looks too grim for a completed test match.
Draw (Australia to lead 1-0 in the series)