England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 1st day July 18, 2013

Cowan, Starc dropped for Lord's


Ed Cowan and Mitchell Starc have been dropped for Usman Khawaja and Ryan Harris in Australia's XI for the second Investec Ashes Test at Lord's.

The changes were not unexpected, after Cowan struggled through arguably the poorest of his 18 Tests at Trent Bridge in the unfamiliar No. 3 position and Starc's form oscillated throughout.

Khawaja's inclusion provided him with the first chance to show his improvement as a batsman since he was left out of the Test team in late 2011, serving consistently as a reserve since.

Harris was always a likely call-up for Lord's, as his consistent line, swing and skiddy pace appear ideally suited to the ground and its idiosyncratic slope. Importantly, Harris has played twice at the venue before, and as a senior bowler his temperament will be useful for the tourists as they seek to reverse a 1-0 series deficit.

While Starc can be expected to come back into the team at a later date, Cowan may have played his last Test. He had taken part in 18 consecutive matches since his debut on Boxing Day 2011, but a record of only one century and an average of 31.28 always left him vulnerable to omission.

Australia: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Chris Rogers, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Steve Smith, 6 Phillip Hughes, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 James Pattinson, 11 Ryan Harris

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Gerry on July 19, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Following up my previous. I wonder what criteria are used when selecting Australian batters. In 32 innings Cowan has averaged over 31.2 and at times looked like he could bat, while Hughes in his last 32 innings has averaged just under 29.2 has been shifted down the order and rarely if ever looks like he can bat. In his last 10 innings Hughes has had 6 scores of 6 or less while Cowan has had 6 scores of 24 or more. I am not saying Cowan is good enough but surely he must get a place before Hughes.

  • Randolph on July 18, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Good selections, I'd say we have our strongest team out there.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Honours about even so far, I'd say - AUS needs to make around 450 in their first innings to off-set the disadvantage of batting fourth on a probably wearing track ...let's hope for an interesting match like the first !

  • Ivan on July 18, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    England will win this 5-0. Australia overachieved in the first test to get so close but man for man there is no comparison. The Aussies are outclassed in every department. If you had Punter and Hussey in the side I'd say the series would be tight but Usman is not Punter and Steve Smith is not Hussey so there is really no chance for this Aussie side. @brotherswaugh - your point about Watson is well made. No specialist bat would survive with a track record of that kind. England are missing a trick by not playing Monty - with Monty and Swann plus Anderson and Finn you have 4 matchwinning bowlers but formulaic thinking prevents an outstanding left arm spinner from getting a game. Still 5-0 England unless weather intervenes.

  • John on July 18, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    @David_Boon - interesting point, but isn't that why we select batsmen - to score the runs. @offkey - yep, Finn was definitely unlucky not to be picked - Trent Bridge didn't suit his style of bowling - it'll be interesting to see how he goes in OZ later this year - he should be a handful providing he bowls smart.

  • Jason on July 18, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    @Chris_P, no problem, Aus also show that they can dig in and put up a fight when the chips are down.

    I've had the series marked as a 1 game win to england possibly 2 if that had some luck.

    In the way series Aus are going to be even stronger, so I expect Aus to win by a similar margin down under.

  • david on July 18, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    @Tony Sadgrove-if Matthew Wade was keeper at Trent Bridge, the 'missed chances' would have been at least double that number. Did you count Broads edge as one? I hope not.

  • Hamish on July 18, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @dr, thirsty, Patto was very unlucky - he bowled very well without getting the rewards, whereas with Starc, every other balls other than the wicket balls were innocuous and/or pressure releasing. Regardless, Patto averages under 25 in both tests and FC; whereas Starc averages above 30 in both FC and tests at an average economy rate and strike rate. Compare their Indian series on those terrible, negating wickets, Starc averaged over 100, whereas Patto 27. Although right now, Patto's pace is considerably down from his previous tests

  • Peter on July 18, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    @Gareth_Bain. Sure, as long as you offer a retraction when he doesn't. The only time he has broken down in a match was a small matter of a broken foot! What chances of that happening again? HUGE odds. He should leave his mark in this match, although not sure if he'll play again in the series, perhaps one more.

  • Altaf on July 18, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    they were too late to include experienced like Siddle, Harris. It already cost them 4-0 in India.

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