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HomeCricket News2nd Ashes Test: England v Australia - Australia look to bounce back...

2nd Ashes Test: England v Australia – Australia look to bounce back quickly

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Last Updated on 9 years by Charbel Coorey

England took a 1-0 Ashes series lead in Cardiff

It was said that if England win the first Test over Australia, we could be in for an Ashes series classic. England did just that, producing a clinical performance from the depths of 43/3 on the first morning to win by 169 runs. This was an England performance far improved from their tour of the West Indies as well as New Zealand’s recent two Test tour of England, and seem the more settled side heading into Lord’s. The scene is set at the Home of Cricket.

The disappointment about the first up defeat and speculation about the makeup of the Australian side for the 2nd Test has dominated the headlines in Australia. Shane Watson has been rightly dropped in place of Mitchell Marsh and Brad Haddin has withdrawn due to personal reasons. Shane Watson’s front pad will probably be the most relieved about the selectors’ decision to drop him, a decision which has surely been long overdue. Brad Haddin hasn’t been in the best form but as Ricky Ponting said, the Aussies will miss his presence because of how central he has been to Australia’s plans over the last few years. Add to that, Mitchell Starc’s ankle gave him trouble in Cardiff but he seems alright to play, bowling off a long run up in the lead up to the Test. England are far more settled, with doubt only over Moeen Ali, who has a side strain. He is tipped to play but if he is to miss out, they have an attacking option in Adil Rashid waiting.

England were excellent at Cardiff, playing that attacking cricket that their disastrous World Cup exit has triggered. Joe Root was superb, Gary Ballance chipped in with first innings runs, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Ian Bell also scored runs. If Cook and Lyth can have a stronger opening partnership at Lord’s, Australia will be facing the heat. In addition, England’s bowlers were excellent and they’ll be looking for a repeat of their team effort in breaking down Australia’s batting line up.

Welcome to Test cricket, Peter Nevill

Australia, the pre-series favourites, need a big performance to bounce back. They will know that 2-0 would mean Ashes pretty much gone so Mitchell Marsh and Peter Nevill, the two players coming in, will need to contribute well which increases the pressure. Marsh was superb against Essex and Kent before the first Test and should have played ahead of Watson at Cardiff. Nevill had a huge Sheffield Shield season, with 764 runs at 76.40 so he deserves his spot. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, Australia would want their more established batsmen (i.e. Clarke, Smith) to contribute more and would also want their bowlers to bowl with a little more consistency. There were too many boundary balls in the first Test.

Players to watch:

Joe Root celebrates his century

For England, it’s that man Joe Root. His importance was reflected on the first day at Cardiff, where he made Australia pay for dropping him on 0. His form of late has been unbelievable and worse for Australia, he averages 85.88 in five Tests at Lord’s.

Steve Smith scored 33 twice at Cardiff

For Australia, Steven Smith had a quiet first Test by his recent standards. England believe to have worked him out around that off stump so he will be eager to get back in the big runs after losing his no.1 Test batting ranking. He didn’t reach that position for no reason though, and Australia will be hoping that the likes of Warner and Clarke can bat around an in form Smith.

Likely teams:

England: Adam Lyth, Alistair Cook (c), Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson

Australia: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon

Some key stats:
– Australia were undefeated at Lord’s from 1938 to 2005 but have lost their last two Tests there, including a huge defeat in 2013.
– James Anderson and Stuart Broad have 136 Test wickets between them in 31 Tests at Lord’s.
– Toss will be key at Lord’s, as the team batting first has averaged 39.04 in Tests at Lord’s since 2010. The team batting second has averaged 30.10.

Prediction: Should be a great game. England held series leads in their recent series against West Indies and New Zealand and while they look better now, there are still a few weaknesses Australia can exploit. Remember, England should have been 43/4 with Joe Root gone for 0 on the first morning. Australia will want to prove that they can fight back and I think they will at least avoid defeat to get back into the series.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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