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

Bell prevents meltdown but Smith turns up heat

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England 289 for 7 (Bell 109, Bairstow 67, Smith 3-18) v Australia
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was a sweltering summer's day with the prospect that Lord's would stage one of the hottest Tests - perhaps the hottest - in its history. And in this scorching atmosphere, so warm, by Gad, that a spectator was spied wearing a knotted handkerchief in the pavilion, Ian Bell produced his third Ashes hundred in succession to try to guard against an England calamity on the first day of the second Investec Test.

But on hot days like these, strange things happen. Birds fly backwards, trees talk to each other and derided legspinners rediscover their ability to pitch it - or normally pitch it - and take joy in a skill reborn. Steve Smith, armed with noticeable spin and what was now a misleadingly cherubic style, took 3 for 12 in 22 balls as the day took an unexpected turn.

If the day was dominated by Bell, it ultimately belonged to Australia, who bookended it in style. They even have the luxury of beginning the second day with the bowlers fresh and a new ball only two overs old.

This was meant to be Bell's story. At the SCG, Trent Bridge and now Lord's, he has secured his reputation. He came to the crease at 28 for 3, with England collapsing in front of the Queen - and, for that matter, Ryan Harris - but followed Jack Hobbs (twice), Wally Hammond and Chris Broad in making hundreds in three successive Ashes Tests.

The Big Easy is variously an American movie, a Chelsea restaurant and the nickname for New Orleans. But at Lord's the Little Easy was a freckled son of Coventry securing his cricketing reputation. If Trent Bridge, a strikingly slow, dead surface, had been a test of his acumen, Lord's increasingly became a pleasure. His exquisite cover drives studded most of the day.

On drowsy days like these, the serenest batsman can seek to make a big Test score without causing the merest rustle of a leaf; to amass run after run with the most slumbering members, mouths agog at the heat rather than the cricket, barely taking notice; to make a major contribution without leaving the slightest indentation. Bell is that type of player: understated quality in an age of overstatement.

England needed Bell's input because Harris, a stout man bowling with aggression and intent, barging through the heat haze like a combine harvester powering through a cornfield, had three for 28 in 13 overs by tea. Like the best harvester, Harris maintained an immaculate line.

England recovered, first through Jonathan Trott's consummate half-century, then with a stand of 144 in 43 overs for the fifth wicket between Bell and Jonny Bairstow to stabilise the England innings.

Then Smith took a hand. His sixth ball turned sharply, to have Bell easily caught at first slip; Bairstow knocked back a low full toss as he was deceived in the flight; and Matt Prior misread the length of one delivered out of the front of the hand and was caught at the wicket. For Australia's captain, Michael Clarke, it was a reward for his willingness to experiment rather than just await the second new ball. He not only brought him on, with the new ball due he kept him on.

Bairstow, who hit 67, had used up his fortune earlier. His fallibility, whipping across a full-length ball, was again evident when Peter Siddle bowled him on 21, only to be reprieved when the umpire called for a TV replay and Siddle was shown to have overstepped. It took a magnified image to prove it.

The UK heat wave was designed to remind Australia of home - and they have an excellent record on this ground too, with 16 victories and six defeats in 36 Tests. As the crowd queued down from St John's Wood tube station, few expected them to make a start like they did. England, who must have sensed a bountiful batting day after winning the toss, began gingerly: Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen all departing.

The Queen was presented to both sides before play began. She does not normally linger at the cricket - horse racing is her true passion - and once somebody had tried to explain the Decision Review System, she doubtless made her excuses and left.

But she would not have had to linger overlong to be aware of the fall of England wickets. Three were dispensed with in the little matter of six overs as Australia, 1-0 down in the series, made the start they had barely dared imagine.

Clarke gave the controlled pace of Shane Watson an airing after only four overs and it worked like a charm. Cook forever fights against the tendency to get his head too far over to the off side and a gentle inswing bowler, bringing the ball back down the slope, could potentially expose that. It took two balls; Cook trapped in front. The umpire, Marais Erasmus, spared the onerous TV duties he had to shoulder at Trent Bridge, considered at length before giving Cook out. Watson's spell lasted a single over.

England's refashioned opening partnership of Cook and Root, assembled after the dropping of Nick Compton, has yet to reach fifty in three attempts. This was definitely a chance wasted.

Root's decision to review Harris' lbw decision in the next over was appropriate because he could not be entirely sure if the ball had struck bat before pad. But replays suggested that Root had squeezed it - with the pad fractionally first - and Tony Hill, the third umpire, rightly found no reason to overturn umpire Kumar Dharmasena's on-field decision.

Pietersen lasted only four balls, his two runs courtesy of a thick edge against Harris backward of square. Harris had him caught at the wicket, targeting the stumps and maintaining an attacking length as one of Australia's finest, Glenn McGrath, did on his appearances at Lord's.

TV cameras showed the Long Room for the first time and revealed Pietersen giving a gentle tap to a stanchion as he passed through it, just polite enough to escape too much of a ticking-off, but inviting the question whether the stanchion was protecting KP from the members or the other way round.

Trott and Bell began as passively as possible, leaving as much as they could until the game settled. James Pattinson sampled both ends at Lord's by lunch without entirely settling to either. Siddle soon reddened in the heat. But a fourth wicket at 120 kept the initiative with Australia as Harris led Trott into an uncontrolled pull and Usman Khawaja held the catch at deep square.

Bell did not hit a single boundary down the ground in his hundred at Trent Bridge. He again prospered square of the wicket here. But when he did go down the ground, handsomely so, against Siddle, it illustrated that this Lord's pitch was far more amenable to good cricket than its predecessor. "It will turn, too," the experts said. And then, by Gad, Steven Smith proved it.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SamWintson92 on July 19, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Steven Smith should bowl regularly. I think he's very under-rated bowler. He can be a quality batting allrounder. I wonder why doesn't he bowl more often ? As a legspinner, he's attacking & got all the variations with the capability of extracting huge amount of turn. It's great to see him bowl flippers, googlies, orthodox using front & back hand.

  • Gdesai on July 19, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Steve Smith's performance was a surprise yesterday! I wonder why Clarke didn't use him at all in the second innings of the first test, where the ball was turning a bit more although it was pretty slow. With bit more practice and guidance, he can be accurate and will be a decent leg spin option for Australia as they are not in a position to play two genuine spinners even on turning tracks.

  • cric_J on July 19, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Just 6 days of this Ashes and it has already shown us all sorts of ups and downs and collapses and fightbacks and some gritty and skilful performances.

    A couple of masterstrokes yesterday from Clarke by getting Watson and Smith in to the attack when he did. Harris looked the best of the lot by a fair distance and bowled really well.

    The Cook-Root opening partnership hasn't worked yet for England. And I expected the 2 best England batsmen IMO - KP and Cooky to make better use of a very good batting pitch than they did yesterday.

    Another impeccable effort from Bell here. He has looked a whole different player in the last 2 innings as far his approach is considered. The shots though , have been as flawless as ever. A commendable innings from Bairstow as well and Trott looked the best till he was there.

    The match is well set up being 55-45 to Aus. One of Swann, Broad and Bres needs to bat well to get Eng to 320+ and they will need some early wkts when they bowl. A crucial day 2 up now.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Can't beat test cricket! Fascinating morning, with Harris immediately justifying his selection with his 2 vital top order wickets. Good, accurate tight bowling, as opposed to the inconsistent & wayward Pattinson.

    Tossing the ball to Watson after 3 overs was surprising, but Cook's dismissal was familiar! 2nd ball from a right-arm fast-med, pitched up, a little movement inside - plumb! From today's cricinfo commentary, "Watson to Cook, OUT, full ball, swings in ... Cook drawn forward and got beaten by a bit of movement" Last year, at Lords, 2nd ball (4th inns,) cricinfo commentary, "Philander to Cook, OUT … bringing one back into Cook on a full length, inside the line of his defensive push." In the previous test at Headingly: "Philander to Cook, OUT, gone! Given lbw … full and just shaping back into Cook."

    Has Aus been studying Cook, and was this planned? If so, that was a very well researched & planned strategy!

    Harris the best of the bowlers so far. A 5 for would be a just reward.

  • H_Z_O on July 19, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    @Mitty2 Don't think Pattinson's overrated at all mate, I just think he's struggling to adjust to the Dukes ball, where Starc seemed more comfortable with it. Experience with the ball was one of the main reasons I thought Siddle had to play every Test.

    Pattinson's a gun bowler, and if we're talking about the return series he's probably the bowler I'd fear most in that one. But in English conditions I could see an attack with Siddle, Harris and Bird, suffocating England of runs, being more effective. Not like those guys don't take wickets either, especially Harris.

    It's just that at the moment Pattinson looks way off colour, he's not only bowling a lot slower than he usually does, but he's lost accuracy at the moment. If he's trying to bowl slower to control the swing better, it's not working.

    Maybe the answer is to stick with him and bowl him in really short sharp bursts, but if he keeps leaking runs like this, he's letting the others down. Hope he improves as the series goes on.

  • H_Z_O on July 19, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    @Shaggy076 I agree with you, the pitch is a belter for batting. 450 pitch at least.

    @Biggus no, I agree with you, Cook's nowhere near the captain Strauss was and that's a big difference. I've often wondered whether we'd have put up more of a fight in 2006 had Strauss been captain instead of Freddie. Doubt we'd have won that series, you were just too good, but we crumbled so pathetically.

    And I also have the same vibe about the opening partnership, which is why I'm inclined to shuffle the order. Bell's in great form, move him to 3 and Trott's done reasonably well too, so move him up to open. Root at 5 where he's done so well.

    Broad's the big question mark. If he bowls well, we're probably a stronger attack than in 2010. If he bowls badly, we're worse. It was noticeable how much better our attack was in 2010 when Broad and Finn were both missing.

    I was just suggesting that it's less the quality of the players and more the mental side of the game. Is this team as hungry? We'll see.

  • Beertjie on July 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    For those who did not want to hear about Harris playing this series, I guess his five-for is answer enough. Pattinson must definitely sit out the next test, maybe Siddle also. Starc (for his swing - both conventional and reverse) and Bird (for his accuracy and McGrath-like movement) should join Lyon (since it always turns) in the team for the next test. The team is a work-in-progress and by careful management of resources/conditions a good outcome may be possible: Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Harris, Lyon, Bird. Now that looks good for Old Trafford!

  • 5wombats on July 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding & @A_Vacant_Slip. I have been watching Ashes cricket for 45 years now and have seen both teams fortunes ebb and flow. No Australian, except perhaps @jonesey2 would attempt to claim that this current Australia side is strong. This isn't a great England side either but I believe we will come out on top in this series. FYI wombats are going to be viewing Tests 3, 4 and 5 whilst actually in Australia. It will be interesting to watch the rest of this series with my mates in Aus and I look forward to reporting! 5w

  • Mitty2 on July 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Pattinson averaged 27 in India; jimmy (who was dhoni's credited difference between the two sides) averaged 30. In your first ever tour to India on horrendous pitches like those, you'd think that averaging under 30 as a quick would be an amazing performance no? During that series his pace was at worst 140 klicks all throughout, he bowled superbly for LONG spells despite India having the confidence and scoreboard dominance. He's hardly overrated. Right now though, he's bowling no where near as quick as he can and he's bowling without rhythm and/or consistency. If he doesn't lift in the second innings, here comes my favorite bird - who after watching the shield final two years ago and going to a few tas games here and there, I can confidently say is the best shield bowler by far.

    The pitch is a featherbed; an absolute belter. We got 500 and 600 against a far superior bowling attack on such pitches (albeit with hussey), if we don't take a lead here it would be terrible.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 19, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Well done to Harris - very well bowled. 361 not a bad score, particularly when you think back to 28 for 3...

    There's a danger now here for England, that Swann and Broad have shown that you can come out swinging at times and rack up a quick-fire score. England must bowl tight and not make the same mistakes as Pattinson...

  • SamWintson92 on July 19, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Steven Smith should bowl regularly. I think he's very under-rated bowler. He can be a quality batting allrounder. I wonder why doesn't he bowl more often ? As a legspinner, he's attacking & got all the variations with the capability of extracting huge amount of turn. It's great to see him bowl flippers, googlies, orthodox using front & back hand.

  • Gdesai on July 19, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Steve Smith's performance was a surprise yesterday! I wonder why Clarke didn't use him at all in the second innings of the first test, where the ball was turning a bit more although it was pretty slow. With bit more practice and guidance, he can be accurate and will be a decent leg spin option for Australia as they are not in a position to play two genuine spinners even on turning tracks.

  • cric_J on July 19, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Just 6 days of this Ashes and it has already shown us all sorts of ups and downs and collapses and fightbacks and some gritty and skilful performances.

    A couple of masterstrokes yesterday from Clarke by getting Watson and Smith in to the attack when he did. Harris looked the best of the lot by a fair distance and bowled really well.

    The Cook-Root opening partnership hasn't worked yet for England. And I expected the 2 best England batsmen IMO - KP and Cooky to make better use of a very good batting pitch than they did yesterday.

    Another impeccable effort from Bell here. He has looked a whole different player in the last 2 innings as far his approach is considered. The shots though , have been as flawless as ever. A commendable innings from Bairstow as well and Trott looked the best till he was there.

    The match is well set up being 55-45 to Aus. One of Swann, Broad and Bres needs to bat well to get Eng to 320+ and they will need some early wkts when they bowl. A crucial day 2 up now.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Can't beat test cricket! Fascinating morning, with Harris immediately justifying his selection with his 2 vital top order wickets. Good, accurate tight bowling, as opposed to the inconsistent & wayward Pattinson.

    Tossing the ball to Watson after 3 overs was surprising, but Cook's dismissal was familiar! 2nd ball from a right-arm fast-med, pitched up, a little movement inside - plumb! From today's cricinfo commentary, "Watson to Cook, OUT, full ball, swings in ... Cook drawn forward and got beaten by a bit of movement" Last year, at Lords, 2nd ball (4th inns,) cricinfo commentary, "Philander to Cook, OUT … bringing one back into Cook on a full length, inside the line of his defensive push." In the previous test at Headingly: "Philander to Cook, OUT, gone! Given lbw … full and just shaping back into Cook."

    Has Aus been studying Cook, and was this planned? If so, that was a very well researched & planned strategy!

    Harris the best of the bowlers so far. A 5 for would be a just reward.

  • H_Z_O on July 19, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    @Mitty2 Don't think Pattinson's overrated at all mate, I just think he's struggling to adjust to the Dukes ball, where Starc seemed more comfortable with it. Experience with the ball was one of the main reasons I thought Siddle had to play every Test.

    Pattinson's a gun bowler, and if we're talking about the return series he's probably the bowler I'd fear most in that one. But in English conditions I could see an attack with Siddle, Harris and Bird, suffocating England of runs, being more effective. Not like those guys don't take wickets either, especially Harris.

    It's just that at the moment Pattinson looks way off colour, he's not only bowling a lot slower than he usually does, but he's lost accuracy at the moment. If he's trying to bowl slower to control the swing better, it's not working.

    Maybe the answer is to stick with him and bowl him in really short sharp bursts, but if he keeps leaking runs like this, he's letting the others down. Hope he improves as the series goes on.

  • H_Z_O on July 19, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    @Shaggy076 I agree with you, the pitch is a belter for batting. 450 pitch at least.

    @Biggus no, I agree with you, Cook's nowhere near the captain Strauss was and that's a big difference. I've often wondered whether we'd have put up more of a fight in 2006 had Strauss been captain instead of Freddie. Doubt we'd have won that series, you were just too good, but we crumbled so pathetically.

    And I also have the same vibe about the opening partnership, which is why I'm inclined to shuffle the order. Bell's in great form, move him to 3 and Trott's done reasonably well too, so move him up to open. Root at 5 where he's done so well.

    Broad's the big question mark. If he bowls well, we're probably a stronger attack than in 2010. If he bowls badly, we're worse. It was noticeable how much better our attack was in 2010 when Broad and Finn were both missing.

    I was just suggesting that it's less the quality of the players and more the mental side of the game. Is this team as hungry? We'll see.

  • Beertjie on July 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    For those who did not want to hear about Harris playing this series, I guess his five-for is answer enough. Pattinson must definitely sit out the next test, maybe Siddle also. Starc (for his swing - both conventional and reverse) and Bird (for his accuracy and McGrath-like movement) should join Lyon (since it always turns) in the team for the next test. The team is a work-in-progress and by careful management of resources/conditions a good outcome may be possible: Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Harris, Lyon, Bird. Now that looks good for Old Trafford!

  • 5wombats on July 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding & @A_Vacant_Slip. I have been watching Ashes cricket for 45 years now and have seen both teams fortunes ebb and flow. No Australian, except perhaps @jonesey2 would attempt to claim that this current Australia side is strong. This isn't a great England side either but I believe we will come out on top in this series. FYI wombats are going to be viewing Tests 3, 4 and 5 whilst actually in Australia. It will be interesting to watch the rest of this series with my mates in Aus and I look forward to reporting! 5w

  • Mitty2 on July 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Pattinson averaged 27 in India; jimmy (who was dhoni's credited difference between the two sides) averaged 30. In your first ever tour to India on horrendous pitches like those, you'd think that averaging under 30 as a quick would be an amazing performance no? During that series his pace was at worst 140 klicks all throughout, he bowled superbly for LONG spells despite India having the confidence and scoreboard dominance. He's hardly overrated. Right now though, he's bowling no where near as quick as he can and he's bowling without rhythm and/or consistency. If he doesn't lift in the second innings, here comes my favorite bird - who after watching the shield final two years ago and going to a few tas games here and there, I can confidently say is the best shield bowler by far.

    The pitch is a featherbed; an absolute belter. We got 500 and 600 against a far superior bowling attack on such pitches (albeit with hussey), if we don't take a lead here it would be terrible.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 19, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Well done to Harris - very well bowled. 361 not a bad score, particularly when you think back to 28 for 3...

    There's a danger now here for England, that Swann and Broad have shown that you can come out swinging at times and rack up a quick-fire score. England must bowl tight and not make the same mistakes as Pattinson...

  • on July 19, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Stuart Broad, I am sorry,gentleman. You did it once again. You nicked it, still hanged on there and called for review. I am not happy with you man. You should show some decent, least expected......

  • YorkshirePudding on July 19, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip, I think you might find that england fans who grew up with the team during the 90's have a more pessimitic, glass half empty, attitude while those that started following the team since 2005 have a slightly more optomistic view, glass half full view.

  • pulkit10 on July 19, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Kind of disappointed to see how both Siddle and Pattinson were unable to keep the pressure built by Harris early on. Had they complemented Harris, we'd be well into Australia's innings by now. Siddle was economical but hardly threatnening (and just got whacked around by Broad/Swann) while Pattinson was decidedly rubbish throughout. Too much was left for Harris/Smith to take care of and it showed - wickets could have been taken for a lot less but they weren't.

    Alas, let's hope the batting comes through and the top order lives up to its potential. Great pitch to bat on - as Broad/Swann just showed - so shouldn't be too hard once you settle in. They'll need to apply themselves, however.

  • SirViv1973 on July 19, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    Well down to Broad & Swann, that's a bit more than I was expecting us to get to, Aus will not been happy conceeding 73 runs this morning. However the score is probably still a little below par & we will have to bowl well & make early inroads with the new ball. I hope the blow Swann took is not going to affect his bowling.

  • Dazako on July 19, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Swan just proved he is a man of impecable character and intergrity. His reputation will never recover from this series not matter how well he plays for the rest of his career.

  • on July 19, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Intelligent bowling here, got 2 early wickets caught behind pitching the ball up, then resort to short and wide excrement and suddenly England have put on over 70 inside the hour and Australia will have to chase over 360.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on July 19, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    @JG2704 hello again friend. History tend to make England follower look to the dark side all the time. I do not think this way I am more positive. I am of the opinion that this Australia side has average batting line up. Also - this time Anderson and Swann are better bowleres than they were and this is pitch perfect for Swann and reverse swing king Jimmy. I am sure than England will bowl Australia out and take first inning lead. Enjoy the game! 341/9 as i write.

  • SirViv1973 on July 19, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    What a great shout it has been for aus to bring Harris back. I think a lot of Aus fans thought that it may have been Bird coming in if they decided to make a change. Pattinson who arrived with a big reputation continues to dissapoint. I was very surprised he was thrown the new ball again this morning & that it was not given to Siddle or Watson. If he does show some genuine signs of improvement in the 2nd inns that you would have to say his place is under threat for the next test.

  • lillee4PM on July 19, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Harris has been fantastic, Siddle below par, and Pattinson (slow learner) should just go home and let Bird take his spot. If Aussie batters don't get 400 plus in their first innings then England will win this one.

  • Greatest_Game on July 19, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Bresnan clearly illustrates the masterstroke of judgement that led to his selection, by knuckling down and occupying the crease for … a ball!

  • SirViv1973 on July 19, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    You have to feel that those 3 wickets at the end yesterday have hurt us. If we were 6 down & Prior still in I would be pretty confident of getting another 100 or so. However we are where we are & with the new ball due I can see us getting skittled out within the first half an hour. If that is the case it will be a massive opportunity for Aus. This will probably be the best chance aus will get to make a 400 plus score & gain a sizeable first inns lead & really put pressure on Eng in the 2nd half of the match.

  • on July 19, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Good piece, David. Enjoyed reading that.

  • on July 19, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Why did the Umpire deem it necessary to check for a no-ball on an obvious "bowled" decision in this test match, but didn't check on an obvious "caught behind" decision in the last test match. Why did he intervene this time, but not then? THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH DRS.

  • JimDavis on July 19, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Did it really spin that much for Smith? One was a full toss for goodness sakes! Did it really spin on day one or did we just see a reminder that Englands fragility to leg spin bowling never really went away?

  • whofriggincares on July 19, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    @shan 156, So it wasn't good bowling by Smith ? "perhaps except the Bell wicket" Perhaps? He gets a batsmen out who is in peak form and is set on 109 and coming off another 100. Add to that he was attempting to defend and was beaten by a beauty and all this adds up to smith not being able to bowl to save himself? Perfect comment to show how little you know about our great game. The Prior dismissal was also a very nice piece of slow bowling , delivered out of the front of the hand and totally deceived the batsmen. As for the Bairstow wicket well that was a gift but hacks tend to get out like that . He should have been out 40 runs earlier to another great looking shot.

  • ddmumbaiindian on July 19, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    After pundulum swinging both ways, I feel again by and large it was Eng's day. Eng were let off the hook by a fitting knock by Trott first and than Ashes Man (Ian Bell). He has not stopped to impress with his controlled patient knock. It came as a soothing touch to tense nerves in Eng dressing room after heroics of Harris in his first spell. Aus did manage to put heavy punch on Eng by scrapping through middle order with heaps of wickets by Steve Smith, however work is half done. In first session Aus need to ensure they wrap up tail at earliets (best if <320-330) and than bat with some character. Bulk of scoring in previous match was done by lower order for Aussies, they must realize its top order's job to score. With untested no 3 player Khawaja, it will be a challenge for Aussies to come good on this lively wicket against Anderson and Co. It is going to be interesting day of cricket again. So bring it on mates!

  • CherryWood_Champion on July 19, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Not sure if Clarke totally forgot he had a decent leg spin bowler in their team. We all know how well the Britts play spin .... would have made a big difference in the first test.

  • JG2704 on July 19, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip on (July 19, 2013, 8:10 GMT) I'm not sure Aus are all that bad. They chased 300+ to win in SA a couple of years ago and were not far short of chasing a 300+ 4th inns target at Trent Bridge. I think much will depend on how many the tail put on. If they are skittled like the 1st inns in the 1st test Eng could have a tricky time

  • whofriggincares on July 19, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Hats off to Ian Bell . This lad has always had a ridiculous amount of talent. 19 test centuries mean I am stating the bleeding obvious I suppose. The truth is as a player I never feared him , his concentration at times was lacking and you always thought our bowlers would get him sooner rather than later. I loved watching him bat yesterday he is close to technically perfect in this sort of form. The side on slow mo of his cover drive was absolute poetry in motion a truly beautiful thing.

  • on July 19, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    for me smith performance was not at all an surprise,i always believe an wrist spinner can always do a magic its an art,and if on the day,if he has the control he can ruin any player in the world, as we have seen with sachin tendulkar he has great turn,but very less control,still he was used to provide crucial wickets,and even match winning performance,i don't believe in taking smith for just bating,he could be a good player if utilized wisely in all department of game,specially his wrist spinning ability with all the righties in england side,in every session he could be tried,if he shows consistency he could pick u,up wickets,just he can't be pressurized,let him enjoy,his bowling,on his day,like yesterday,he could be crucial further in rest of matches too.He is adifferent and special player,could be used wisely,there is warney there,try to make him accurate,rest all will be done.

  • Meety on July 19, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    I can handle losing to England - what i CANNOT stand is Bell being brilliant! (to top it off Broad also delivered with the bat last test). I can handle Cook, Trott & KP - or even Prior excelling - but Bell drives me up the wall! == == == So please for Smith. One o the most derided cricketers to ever wear the Baggy Green. I ALWAYS thought he was a decent leggie & should never give up on that discipline. All we need now is for him to reverse his batting (32) & bowling (43) averages & we have ourselves a bonafide allrounder! == == == Siddle's no ball - I stayed up to watch this match (on a school nite - lol) & when this happenned I almost smashed the TV remote against the screen - yelling NOT AGAIN!!!! I grimly watched a few more overs to see if he could redeem himself ala MCG v Dravid & Sachin. Not to be - England @ 5 for at that stage would of been VERY interesting from an Oz perspective!

  • on July 19, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    @tykenoz feel sorry, that side on hotspot showed the ball had hit thw pad, the bat was still behind the leg thats how third umpire knew he was out, simple as that, wasnt much in it maybe 20mm, hmm I see that all the Tabloids English Team are all over this......

  • Surajrises on July 19, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    After looking at Smith's performance and the turn he got on the first day, Graeme Swann would be licking his fingers. Swann might be the hero with the ball for England in this Test Match... I know its too early to say that but Swann is gonna get a lot of purchase from this pitch...

  • tony122 on July 19, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    England has an unusually dry and hot summer this time. As pitches in England are anyways not hard like Australia or even SA- and with dry conditions surfaces are resembling a lot more like Sub continent pitches. And these conditions are ideally suited for Bell's kind of batting. I have always thought he is more in the mold of an Asian batsman- fairly short, strong driver of the ball( front and back foot) but not an outstanding cutter or hooker of the ball( no doubt made worse by his short stature). Dry conditions are likely to continue throughout the series. it reminds me of 90 Summer when India toured England, similar un English conditions- And on that tour Azhar made merry from the Indian side-reveling in his wristy stroke play on the dry and low pitches. Let us see how Swann utilizes these conditions- doe she have in him to better his vs Aus bowling average of 40 plus?

  • YorkshirePudding on July 19, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    @A_Vactan_Slip, I'm not so confident of an england win, at most they may get 300-320 runs, and well then have to see how England bowl and Australia bat as its possible they could post 400-500 runs.

    A lot will depend on Swann, Anderson and Broad, as I dont have much faith in Bresnan at lords due to his previous record.

  • on July 19, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    I think everyone here wants Warne out there, and bowl a few ball, just to see what rpm he gets, Was a joke in the commentary box, lets see him do few overs im sure he can get into 4000 plus range. Come on Warne lets show who is the king of spin

  • A_Vacant_Slip on July 19, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    @wombats - oh boy! I think you got him! Nice to see you back on these board and in good form. I am confident of England win here. If Australia would have Gilchrist, Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Hussey then 300 would be no problem for them - but look here, they have no player of this calibre now only Clarke who admittedly is world class.

  • Biggus on July 19, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @crh8971:-If Agar does indeed have some serious tearing/splitting on his spinning finger it's going to take a lot more than two days to heal, I can vouch from painful personal experience. He'll have to lay off it for at least a week if that's the case, or even more if he's really messed it up.

  • vsroc on July 19, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (July 19,2013) It is quite true that strange things happened on the first day,hottest one, of the second Ashes test at Lords.Ian Bell scored again another fine century which happened to be third consecutive in the Ashes series.Match took an unexpected turn before the close of first day's play,Steve Smith of Australia took three valuable wickets of England.Had Michael Clarke brought Steve Smith earlier,England would have been in deep trouble that would have not allowed Ian Bell to score his third consecutive century.

  • JM_RSA on July 19, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    IMO it iwas a dissapointing day for England. 400 should be the par score on this pitch. If Aus sees off the new ball without too much damage, we could see a score of 450. So much has been made of the Aus batting before the series started, but i think if Aus score big today, it will put the pressure back on the Eng batting unit.

  • on July 19, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    if england scores 100more runs australia will be in trouble against anderson,bresnan,swan ..it would be better attacking english newball bowlers at the outset or else ausies will be defeated for sure asfirst innings 400plus runs in lords is a winning score particularly when astute cook captains england by his sure shot methods..

  • YorkshirePudding on July 19, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Another nice Ton from Bell, and looks to be the England batsman in form at the moment. So much for those demanding Bell be dropped, mind you they were the same ones who demanded Cook be Dropped before the 2010/11 Ashes as well.

    It will be interesting to see how Swann does on a pitch that is starting to look like offering help to the spinners.

    Still too early to say which way this game is going to go as we wont know until Australia bat, though I suspect they will get around a 150 run lead.

    I would prever the 3rd umpire to take over the calling of No balls as additional fixed and permenantly focused square cameras could provide this information real time and it can be quickly relayed to the on-field umpire.

    For all other decsions they MUST remain in the hands of the on-field umpires not someone sat in a cosy office watching a TV screen who may have the stump mike turned down.

  • crh8971 on July 19, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    @scritty - Smith had the revometer going into the red from the first couple of balls and being a wristy will consistently generate more spin than Swan or any other finger spinner with the exception of someone like Murali. Swann did hit the red in patches at Trent Bridge and appeared dangerous when he did. It appears he is not able to sustain it for sustained, long spells. Agar was hitting the red in the first test so it appears his finger cut was impeding ability to give it a rip. Maybe best to try not to bowl him again in the first innings and his finger can heal over the two days the Aussies will bat for.

  • 5wombats on July 19, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster (July 19, 2013, 0:36 GMT) Hilarious to read your comm. An Indian passing judgement over who can and who can't play spin! Indians aren't masters at playing spin either - if they were then how come they lost the test series against England in India 6 months ago? And how come Swann took 9 wickets against the Indians at the Oval in 2011 on the hottest driest flattest pitch? And all this from someone who claims to have no interest or knowledge of Test cricket... Hilarious.

  • on July 19, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Whatever England Score its going to be 2-0, Ha ha ha ha

  • scritty on July 19, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Amazed how much the ball turned off the pitch surface. Smith, while being a leg spinner, was getting the broadcaster's new rev meter in the amber and the ball was turning sharply off the surface rather than foot marks. Swann gets the rev counter in the red, how much turn might he get? While finger spinners do get a little less turn normally, I predict Swann will be a handful on this pitch. Agar hardly seems to put any revs on the ball at all. Strange.

  • on July 19, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    @Dunger.Bob, yes it really is that flat, I don't think there was a mis-timed shot all day, just about every shot that pierced the in field went just as smartly to the boundary as if it had been shot from a cannon. I think that if England hadn't have lost those 3 early wickets then 500 would have been on the cards. As it was we needed Trott and Bairstow to gift their wickets away with one very good delivery accounting for Bell. Get yourself in and the runs are there for the taking.

    Australia has to score 500+ here if they want to win this series. They have to look back on the series against SA where they made big scores at Brisbane and Adelaide and back themselves to do it again here. England has a fine bowling attack, no question of that, but it is only four men strong, we need to make it a very long time for them out in the field, there won't be a better chance in this series to pile on the hurt with the bat, get out there and get it done!

  • sachin_vvsfan on July 19, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Although the opposition is not as strong as the one in 2006 , back to back centuries is not a joke given that his teammates struggled to reach decent score.I would say this is still a decent score and if Eng somehow reach 350 they will be favorites. If smith and harris can do it so can swann and anderson.

    The out come of this match depends on how Aussie batsmen fare against Eng bowlers. Man to Man obviously Eng has better lineup. But if their batsmen keep failing like this and if some how Aus rides on some luck from the tailenders(siddle, agar) along with some outstanding batting from clarke/haddin then it will be interesting series.

  • TamilIndian on July 19, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Leave DRS with umpires. Why is an umpire always asking for a replay when there is a run-out - I mean even when the batsman is 1 meter away? Do the same for catches. As for the LBWs don't use technology please. Its complicated and leave it to the humans. The responsibility to check no-balls need to be taken away from the umpire. This will give better decisions on LBWs.

  • dunger.bob on July 19, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    There's no clear advantage to either side at this stage. Pretty much even-Steven I'd say.

    I know this will get howled down in a torrent of stats and contrary opinions, but I'm pretty happy with how the Boof-heads have acquitted themselves so far in this series. We're only 6 days in, but the flicker of hope hasn't been snuffed out yet. In fact, it's burning a bit brighter than I expected.

    Is every one sure this pitch is as good for batting as I've heard? It looked to be decking about in the first session but I didn't see much of the middle and none of the evening sessions. .. Could have just been some remnant juice in the pitch, but gee, I don't know that it's THAT easy to bat on.

    Finally, a quick word on Bell. ... what a little ripper of a player that bloke is. .. reminds me of a brick outhouse when he's got a bat in his hand. .. Ding Dong Dell, we gotta get out Bell.

  • Biggus on July 19, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    @H_Z_O:-It's not just the personnel as I'm sure you're aware. Form, hunger ....all sorts of intangible factors go into transforming a team that looks good on paper into one that performs at it's best or above on the field. The team that beat us down under were unlike any English team I've ever seen down under and I'll use that term again-remorseless. Except for the glitch at Perth they never looked like messing up and they were quite ruthless as well, all qualities which I was not accustomed to seeing so much on display in an English side. Despite the similarities in the team make-up I don't get that feeling from this side, your opening duo look far more vulnerable with Root's inexperience and Cook's return to mortal form too. From the perspective of the opposition this side doesn't feel nearly as formidable as the down under edition that humbled us so totally. My comment was more a pointer to how good I thought you guys were in OZ than any assertion that they're poor now.

  • Ankitsuperking on July 19, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Another intriguing day of Test match cricket. Pendulum just kept on swinging throughout the day, with match nicely in balance.Now it's important for Australia to wrap the tail quickly and then get a decent lead as they would be batting last on a pitch where swan would be keen to bowl, particularly after the performance of smith.

  • cricket22222 on July 19, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    He is a class player at any format.

  • deano_411 on July 19, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    I know the Aus batting is fragile but not sure how people are saying Aus can't get over 250 considering we hit 290 batting last on a worse wicket at trent bridge.. This looks a good batting wicket and England wasted their chance. Lets hope Aus don't do the same

  • Surajrises on July 19, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    I believe Shane Warne should be made the Bowling Coach(Only for spinners like Lyon, Agar and mainly Smith) He would nurture these young lads like Smith & Agar and could make them a very dangerous pair of spinners. One leg spinner and one left arm spinner so when Australia does travel to subcontinent, these spinners could prove very useful and be a lethal weapon according to me even in Ashes. I definitely feel that what Mushy has done for England, Warne could do an even better job for Australian spinners...

  • crh8971 on July 19, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I am pretty sure if that if, after England had won the toss, you offered this score to both captains at the end of the day the only one that would have been tempted would have been Clarke. Clearly Australia's day thanks to the efforts of Harris & Smith & they would be hoping to wrap up the innings in the first hour today with the new rock. I have to say that is the worst I have seen Pattinson bowl in test cricket. Line & length were all over the place & he was well down in pace. When firing he would be a consistent 90MPH bowler yet here he struggled to get above 84. I have heard on the radio today that he was unwell which would explain things somewhat. There are some comments here suggesting he is over rated but i have absolute faith he is the real deal having seen all his test performances. I just hope that the Aussie top 6 back up their bowlers in their innings as they will have a great pitch to bat on & it is time for them to start stepping up & showing they belong.

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 19, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    That no ball by Siddle proved very costly indeed. The line never moves, so it's a bit hard to feel any sympathy for the bowler and Bairstow got very lucky. Wonderful innings from Bell, but he does need to really 'cash in' and make a big hundred when he's in such good form. Prior was u huge wicket for OZ. We need to wrap the tail up quickly - ENG all; out for no more than 325. Then it's up to the batsmen. The first session tomorrow will have a big impact on the eventual outcome of the match. I hope Harris gets a 5-for. Anderson will be a handful but OZ must get a healthy 120+ lead on the 1st innings. The big question is can they? I really want Khawaja to cement his place with a hundred! At least one of the top five must get a big hundred for OZ to score in excess of 400.

  • OneEyedAussie on July 19, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    The all important passage of play for Australia tomorrow will be against the first ten overs of the new ball. If they can see it off while only losing 0/1 wickets then England will have to set themselves for a very long day as the pitch combined with the overhead conditions will make for good batting.

  • James_Murphy on July 19, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Fantastic length bowling by Harris today, hit the deck hard and troubled the English batsmen. Siddle a bit hard done by, I thought his line and length was very good but by the time he bowled the ball wasn't doing much. Pattinson and Agar very poor. Bell batted beautifully, Bairstow a bit lucky, Root and Pieteresen don't look too solid, but the big win for Australia may have been the serious chink in the Trott armour, the short ball. Expect him to be peppered by Harris who bowled the best bouncers straight at the body. Cook looked shaky against Watson's medium swingers, that makes sense considering Cook's poor first class record. Much prefers the ball coming on to the bat early. If Eng make 330, on this pitch Rogers, Clarke and Haddin all have good previous form at Lords and I expect one of them to go on and score a big, big one. Could be 500+ total and England on the ropes. Much rests on Anderson and Swann's shoulders again.

  • DylanBrah on July 19, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    Good stuff Ryan Harris and Steve Smith. You can see Steve has the talent to be a decent batting allrounder. He just lacks confidence in his ability at times, but once he got that Bell wicket, he looked to really enjoy his bowling. Surprised Clarke took the new ball - Steve could have picked up another handy wicket before close, I reckon. Agar is looking highly unimpressive, and looks to be carrying an injury. Will be surprised if he makes any impact in this match, which is a shame, because this pitch is going to turn come day 3 onwards. Disappointed in Pattinson, he looks just a shadow of himself, and England must be wondering what all the fuss is about him. He bowled with no fire or venom, struggled to find consistency, and was bowling about as fast as Watson. Makes you wonder what is up with him. The key for Australia is to bowl England out for <320 and have a first innings lead of at least 100. England still on top here, Swann is going to enjoy bowling on this pitch.

  • jmcilhinney on July 19, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    Australia scored 250+ in the second innings at Trent Bridge on a more difficult wicket than this. That said, Swann could be a handful and if England can reverse the ball then they may contain Australia relatively well. To assume that Australia can't score over 250 here is folly though.

  • Badgerofdoom on July 19, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    Australia keep pulling rabbits out of the hat every time England get away, first it was the 10th wicket stands in the first test and now Smith suddenly takes 3 wickets. You can probably look at it two ways, either its good that Australia have such depth or its bad that the tail or part time bowlers are having to make up for the failings of the top order and front line bowlers. Not sure which myself, but its good viewing either way!

  • johnnycash on July 19, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Another great days test cricket!! Keep this up for another 9 tests please boys. Perfect start for Australia although the bowling early was all over the shop. Fantastic batting from England to bring it back. Bell is on fire and Australia will do well to find a weakness. Trott on the other hand, looks to be all at sea to the short ball delivered at pace. His first movement forward really does get him into a tangle. I haven't seen much of Bairstow but his determination was there for all to see. Steve Smith can't stay out of the game, and the more he gets involved, the more things happen. I was impressed by the Australians fielding effort, and a superb catch by Haddin to dismiss Prior. Works not over however, all important first session coming up for both sides.

  • on July 19, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    For the first time in more than a decade, I'm supporting an OZ team to do well.World cricket needs Aus to be back to their best to challenge teams like India and England. Pak, SL and WI were not up to the mark, so its up to South Africa and Australia to step up and make the world cricket competitive again

  • TheBigBoodha on July 19, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    The timing of innings changeovers often has a big impact on tests. The worst time to changeover for the batting team is about an hour before stumps, because it gives the other side an hour to go full tilt at you, then they can repeat that 1st thing the next morning when there is a little moisture from under the covers. In the Perth test vs SA that is EXACTLY what happened.

    Here in this test it looks like the changeover will be about an hour or so after the morning session starts, which is perfect for Australia. Even if England bat till lunch and get 400, it will still gift Australia the best batting conditions in the game (just as England got the best conditions in the 1st test). So there will never be a better opportunity for the AUS batsmen to score runs. This is the kind of track that the English seamers traditionally struggle on, so I see no reason why Australia can't post three or more centuries and get 450+. The batting will click eventually. No excuses for failure here.

  • aarifboy on July 19, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Bell can't play quality spin as he showed against Pak,India and SL. Australia could have used Smith earlier in this test and in first test as well to get rid of Bells two 100s.

  • Chris_P on July 19, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    @jmcilhinney. Probably tend to think it is abut even, If you asked both sides if they would have taken this score at the start of the day, they both would probably have said yes but maybe one less/more wicket depending which side you are on. Pattinson disappointed, & Siddle was just off his game a little which left a lot for the others. It appears, to me anyway, Agar had his finger injury that clearly hampered him, so not really sure why they went with him although, as some have suggested, his batting is, technically speaking, far superior to many above him. Perhaps there is a future for him as a batsman. The Sherminator did show a lot of grit, his dismissal though brought back memories of Warne with him & I understood he didn't handle the Indian spinners so well either, so he still has a little work to do on that side, but overall, a tough effort by him, he really did grind it out well.

  • souwesterly on July 19, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    Let's be honest - KP is only there as a hypothetical threat. Once in every ten games, he let's loose and wins the match. I'd far rather see a good strong steady line-up. Prior is there only because of his reputation and keeping skills. It's time he and KP were sent back to the drawing board - KP for good, Prior for a while. Root needs some confidence. Perhaps the Ashes series is too much pressure for him - perhaps we should try someone else. Surely England isn't that short of up-and-coming cricketers.... Good match otherwise - evenly balanced, in my opinion.

  • Bunbarian on July 19, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Yes, it definitely depends how we bat at the top end of the order. We're not going to win bowling out sides for 100, if we can't manage 75 ourselves (remember South Africa a couple of years ago?). Our bowlers did really well, but in reply, at 9-21, we were in danger of recording the lowest Test score ever, until the bowlers hauled us up to a respectable 47... Sadly, the top order hasn't shown much evidence of any improvement since that debacle.

  • thebarmyarmy on July 19, 2013, 1:23 GMT

    A good recovery from England. Should be able to post 350+ It will be interesting to see how their new Pakistan import plays and wether it was worth dropping Cowan for him.

  • WonkyBail on July 19, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    For me it had to be classed as an Aussie day, maybe not as much as it was looking early on. Good recovery provided by Trott and the Ginger wizards. However I think England are still in it and so do the bookmakers and now I see GSinge7 is predicting an Aussie victory my hopes are restored, interesting he doesn't rate the spinner that mesmerized his own 'legends' on their own tracks. And another thing now RandyUK has stated this is Aussie's best team their can be NO excuses if they lose. I rate Harris highly but he will break down sooner rather than later alas, and well played Tubby Smith lets see the situation when both teams have had a bat. Love Ashes even more than bacon.

  • CustomKid on July 19, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Sublime from Bell. He has become England's version of Steve Waugh saving the side when in early trouble. I'd put him along side Damien Martyn in terms of style and timing too.

    Another cracking day, Siddle's no ball was massive and things could have been a lot better for AUS had that been a legal ball, however come in spinner. As soon as Smith dropped the ball on the spot England seemed to have flash backs to SKW. The dismissals of Bell and Prior were genuinely good balls that SKW would have been proud to call his own.

    This is a massive IF, but should Australia roll England for under 370, and somehow the line up fires to make 500+ it's game on. If Smith lands them like he did last night on days 4 and 5 with runs in the bank I think England will go to water if last nights display against well landed leggies is any indication. Again that is a huge IF so before you flame on, I actually thing ENG already have enough runs such is the state of the Aussie top 6 :(

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 19, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    Watched the highlights this evening. Good innings from Ian Bell and Bairstow. Trott was also exceptional early on. However, Steve Smith has turned this England innings on its head. He has once again exposed the weakness of certain England batters against spin. Having said that, the Aussies aren't masters at playing spin themselves. This pitch will only worsen as time wears on. If England score 350, it will be tough for Australia. Let's see what happens.

  • TykeinOz on July 19, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    Root's dismissal was interesting. If it took multiple angles and super slomo to determine that the ball clipped Root's pad marginally before bat, how can the umpire have been certain that this was the case in real time? In times past, the batsman would have received the benefit of the doubt. Are we seeing another unintended consequence of DRS in umpires no longer worrying about the benefit of the doubt believing that a DRS challenge will make a less cautious decision look great? Had the decision been not out, it is hard to imagine that DRS would have overturned the decision on an Australian challenge - so had the umpire exercised beenfit of the doubt Root would not have been dismissed.

  • on July 19, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    This day may have belong to the Aussies, but wait.......we have four more days to go. I doubt whether it will last all four days thou. If Smitty is turning what will Swann do? a 300 + runs is good enough for Australia to bat twice.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on July 19, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    With all the talk of Englands dominance in batting being the reason for favouritism, after 3 innings Trott with an avg of 35.33 leads from Pietersen 26.66 Cook 25 then Root 13.66 the middle order of bell with a massive 243 avg 81 Bairstow 119 at 39.66 (who most want out ?) And according to many posts the best keep/bat in the game Prior 38 at 12.66 shows to me that when two fragile batting lineups play it makes for close and exciting play with plenty of ebbs and flows (wickets)

  • on July 19, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    The very confident english forget that Australia outscored them in the first innings last time with Clarke going out for a golden duck... Don't think you'll be so lucky to see the back of Clarke early this time

  • GrindAR on July 19, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    South/West Australians can wothstand the temperature better tomorrow. Day 1 is close... If they could get next three before crossing 300, then I could say it is Aussies... Good to see atleast Mr.Clarke seeked Smith as out of options... He should have done that when the partnership (IRB & JMB) crossed 70... anyways... 3rd surprise in 2nd test.... day 1. 3 more to go... to meet minimum requirement of my predictions... :-)

  • RodStark on July 19, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    England really are a very good team, but they do seem to have two ridiculous weaknesses. One is that if you even claim to be bowling leg-spin, they panic. The other is that if you even begin to establish a tenth-wicket partnership, they panic.

  • on July 18, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    LOL moment of the day: Steve Smith marking his run up.. He started believing he is a real bowler! He has already been made to think he is a specialist batsman too. Seriously, LOL! Btw, Glenn Maxwell took some 4 wickets in an innings during the calamitous Indian tour. That didn't make anyone take him seriously as a bowler. Just sayin..

  • Gilly57 on July 18, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    A disappointing start to the day and a disappointing end. Thank goodness for Ian Bell - all class! It looks ooks like a great pitch for batting - 400+ - the tail needs to wag big-time. Where is Monty when you need him?

  • Orsoncarte on July 18, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    Great ton from Bell, good bowling from Harris and extremely disappointing from Pattinson. Laugh of the day? England sending in a night watchman to protect Number 9. There must have been some tension in the shed after the late flurry of wickets, or maybe Cook took some notice of Clarke's imaginative bowling changes and decided on an imaginative batting change.

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    In those conditions, England should really have been able to score 400 at a minimum for their first innings but it looks like they will likely fall some way short of that. Excellent bowling by Harris and Smith with some decent backup from Watson. Siddle was steady but unspectacular, as was Agar, but Pattinson was genuinely disappointing. Australia will be keen to get him going because they're unlikely to get Harris playing every game. Has Smith got what it takes to yet be a front-line spinner? Probably not but he was mostly excellent in that spell yesterday. He was a little lucky to get Bairstow but he earned Bell's and Prior's wickets no doubt. On the subject of Bell, I think that he's put the idea that he can't make runs when his team needs them to bed for a while. He'll be disappointed that he couldn't play out the day, in which case England could be in a strong position, but he's definitely done his share. I know three men who could use some runs in the second innings.

  • disco_bob on July 18, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    It was absolutely crucial to get those three early wickets, if England had weathered the storm portended by Pattinson's first ball to Cook then it would have been a very nice day for Australia. As it is I dare to dream that we could declare on day 3 with 601

  • brisCricFan on July 18, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    What I don't understand in all of the debates about reviews... who called for the review of the 'No-Ball'? We all know the answer, the umpire... so why is it good enough for the umpire to decide to use technology in this instance to be sure about a no-ball call, but not use the same access to technology to check if a ball was snicked (or had the cover belted off it) if there is some doubt WITHOUT the need for a review system.

    I am all for DRS - no, not DRS, technology in removing bad decisions, but it seems currently technology is highlighting the poor decsions amongst many good ones and that leaves people disillusioned.

    Also, on LBW, 4 reviews were made... on two occasions the ball was just nicking the stumps but umpire had given them out - Umpires call. Two others had almost half the ball hitting and umpire had given not out. This seems incongruous that the two 'most' out were not out and the two 'least' out were given. If its hitting, its out. Make the rule simple.

  • Batmanian on July 18, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    Broad and Swann can really put pressure right back on Australia with the bat here... if it's 400, 420+, Australia will be very tetchy. Was great to see Watson bowl early. Another fantastic day of proper cricket.

  • Chris_P on July 18, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    The intrigue is still happening! A cluster of 3 wickets either end of the day plus Trott in the middle leaves this match delicately poised. It all boils down to how the Aussie batting line-up responds, although that said, there is still plenty to do for our guys. Well done to Smith, btw, that is the role he should be used for, occasional use & for something totally different. He is not, repeat, NOT an allrounder. His is a refreshing attitude in doing the hard work to improve particular skills. Good effort by the Sherminator too.

  • Shaggy076 on July 18, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Not sure I'm watching the same match as everyone else, or has this pitch been down graded because of England's position and Australia's recent batting struggles. This is an absolute belter for batting, the ball did nothing for the quicks after over 10, there is turn but no more than the last wicket where Australia handled Swann with aplomb. This wicket is doing as much as a Sri Lankan test strip - and the tail will still be hard to dismiss. Some excellent bowling from Watson and Harris up top and then 3 wickets the Aussies wouldn't have counted on at the end of the day from Smith who is rarely a bowler these days has put Australia in the advantage. I cant see much help for the bowlers come day 2 and 3 so quick removal of the tail is essential. A strange day all-round 3 of Australia bowlers were well below there best today, yet the position they find themselves in is excellent.

  • Hammond on July 18, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    @RandyOZ- for all the good that will do you.

  • whoster on July 18, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    After England's poor start at 28-3, 289-7 at the close is a pretty good fightback. Brilliant stuff again from Bell to hold the batting together, and that's twice he's dug us out of a hole when the pressure was on. With a fragile Aussie top 6, anything above 300 could be competitive. It's annoying for England that a part-timer took the last 3 wickets, but Smith bowled good deliveries to get rid of Bell and Prior. If the Aussies are serious about regaining the Ashes, they'll need to go well past whatever England's total will be.

  • heathrf1974 on July 18, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Great ebbing and flowing first day. The Aussies I think are slightly ahead, but we'll see when they bat. The weather can greatly affect batting conditions.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on July 18, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @pat_one_back I for one hope your prediction about the english getting 310 and the Aussies getting 450 comes true, but I think the result would be different, if the aussies have a 140 lead at the end of day 3 I think they would win by 5 or 6 wickets.

  • maddy20 on July 18, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    A surface thats BONE-DRY, hardly any grass, ball keeping low on day one and turning so much that smith managed to nip out 3 in 5 overs! Englishmen should think twice, before calling Indian pitches "dust bowls". Albeit that from what I have noticed this is a very good strategy by them. Prepare Savannnah Grass lands, when opposition is a Sub-continental team and Sahara desert when teams like SA, AUs tour. It backfired spectacularly against SA, but that is highly unlikely to happen this time around. Aussie lefties are gonna have a hard time playing the ball spinning out of the rough outside their off-stump. I expect Swann and Root to have a field day tomorrow, more than Anderson!

  • 2MikeGattings on July 18, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Starc did OK at Trent Bridge and Harris is looking a canny selection here for Australia. I can't help thinking England backed the wrong horses - Bresnan's reverse swing would have been handy in Nottingham, and Finn would have found more pace and carry here in Marylebone.

  • yorkshirematt on July 18, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    I get the feeling that however good the pitch and however friendly the conditions, neither team has it in them to make a really big score. When the current heatwave breaks down and "normal" conditions return things could get very interesting

  • Dubious on July 18, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Well Mark Boulle, considering Michael Clarke (alone) averaged over 100 in tests last year and scored over 200 four times, you're already most of the way there to envisaging it.

    Plus, under Clarke's captaincy we've only lost two series so far. One was a travesty (India) and one was a 1-0 result in a three test series against the number one team in the world, in which Australia, arguably, had the upper hand for most of the series.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    @Biggus "This England side doesn't look nearly as good as the side that beat us down under last time when they struck me as the most remorseless English side I'd seen"

    To be fair, it's almost entirely the same team. In fact, if you consider that Colly, our number 6 in that series, averaged 13.43 with no 50s, you could argue Bairstow's an improvement (Colly was class in the 2006 series but 2010 was definitely passed his best). The one big difference is the opening pair and that's why I think asking Root to open was such a strange decision. Strauss averaged 43 in 2010, just the one ton, but that could still be one more than Root manages in this series.

    Bairstow's knock at 6 has really confused things. Root's obviously a talent, but he's just not a Test opener, for me, at least not yet. One option might be to move Trott up to open and shuffle Bell up to 3, with Root slotting in at 5.

    Bowling-wise we miss Tremlett, no doubt. Nobody's taken over that role; Broad and Finn are too wayward.

  • Mitty2 on July 18, 2013, 22:10 GMT

    And to extend that, we all saw England vs NZ and the English batsmen collectively failed to post good totals because of pressure and economical bowling. Pace didnt matter, just had to not concede runs and the eng batsmen would get themselves out... That's why there were the arrogant claims of 'complacency'. So far we have palpably planned well, with plans for every batsmen (plans wont work for bell atm with his technique and the way he's batting) with the execution being very good so far except against trott. That's why patto and starc should never play together, they're not accurate enough and patient enough to adhere to these. You don't need to bowl the jaffa, just work them over which Harris did well and siddle did to bairstow. An for people suggesting that starc should be in for patto, please... Starc could not handle being the only genuine wicket taker (even though his strike rate and average show otherwise)

    Bell, fantastic batsmen, fantastically batted. But that's enough mate ;)

  • Mitty2 on July 18, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    Our day, but again, as seen against SA, when we're on top we don't have the experience/ability to put teams away, so wouldn't be expecting a fluent batting performance tomorrow. Over the past two years, I've usually noticed that we almost always bowl better and well in the morning session (yes even in India we did) after bowling the day before, and considering we have the new ball, we should and probably will get England out for 310-320 odd. Patto is out of rhythm and his pace is only slightly better than it was at the end of last test's second innings (in the first session he averaged 85mp/h) so that's a tad disappointing. However, the nitpicking of our attack I'd say is unjustified, we have got England stuttering at 290-7 on an absolute belter in perfect batting conditions. Agar bowled better than swann did in their respective second innings and got broad out twice... And on a day 1 pitch, what do you expect? Agree with @pat_one_back, two of bird, siddle, Harris have to be picked

  • Beertjie on July 18, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Agree @ H_Z_O on (July 18, 2013, 10:56 GMT) that at Lords accuracy is the thing. That is why I suggested BOTH Harris and Bird, the latter for Pattinson. Hope they get this right next test. Also I think Lyon for Agar at Old Trafford, possibly Starc for Siddle. Great to see Smith bowling again. Spot on @ salazar555 on (July 18, 2013, 17:29 GMT) about Agar.

  • Biggus on July 18, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    @jackthelad:-That's the spirit Jack, declare! I can't see Cook doing so as he seems like a rather fearful captain, something that was most apparent in the last test vs NZ. And yes, I do think "this shower" can beat 300 although I wouldn't be betting the house on it. Stranger things have happened! Even England occasionally rose above abject mediocrity during the long years when we had our boots firmly placed on the collective throat of your team. Cocky talk for a supporter that needs his team to win this test so that England can equal the number of Ashes test victories on English soil that Australia has achieved, and if that comes about your lot can work on building a lead or, dare I say, trying to achieve an ascendency on our home soil. Good luck with that.....

  • rickyvoncanterbury on July 18, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    In the first test the aussies scored 280 and 296 on a dustbowl created for swann and with broad and trott getting a couple of chances they only won by 14 runs, now with England 7 for under 300 a lot of posters are saying england already has enough runs but then again these same posters wrote off Pakistan, Soth Africa and New Zealand.

  • Hammond on July 18, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    from 3/20 til now, England has already won this test match.

  • pat_one_back on July 18, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    This looks a cracking wicket for batting and Aust should mop up up with the new ball and have a shot at a big lead, if they're good enough. Expecting big things from the Aust batting after seeing last test just how richly patient batting can pay off. There's been some real camaraderie on display on the field, could be accused of being a little contrived under the circumstances however it appeared genuine. Patto's bowling was the big disappointment, fair to say Aust must play at least 2 of Harris Siddle & Bird or risk wasting testing bowling conditions. His pace is down and I wonder how much he's holding back due to lack of confidence in his body. My prediction, Eng all out 310, Aust to put on 450, match to end in draw sparing a Patto revival in the 2nd to help force a low 4th chase, you never know, guaranteed there will be twists and turns though.

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

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

  • landl47 on July 18, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    Another great day of topsy-turvy test cricket. When I saw the Aussie bowling line-up, with the known fragility of Pattinson, Harris and Watson plus the 19-year old Agar my thought was that England would have to try to extend this match as long as possible. Batting long would be just as important as piling up the runs.

    After being 28-3, just surviving the day was a good effort, led (again) by Bell. At 271-4 inside the last hour it looked as though England would end the day on top, before Smith increased his tally of test wickets by 75%- this is a crazy series! Still, England made it through the day and if they can bat on for a while tomorrow, irrespective of how many runs they score, it will help. This pitch has turn and it's faster with more bounce than Trent Bridge, so Swann will be key.

    Great entertainment again and there's no telling which way this will go.

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Root opens for Yorkshire so it's not like it's new to him. He just needs a bit of luck and a score and he'll be off and running. At the moment he has top players around him so it's not like he's under pressure, England can afford to be patient with him.

    I want England's tail to come out tomorrow and play some shots, no messing around, just give the bat a swing. 350 and England will be in a decent position I think

  • on July 18, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    Good to see Smith pushing the "rev" counter into the high amber and red on Sky. Interesting that he got wickets and sharp bounce and turn actually off the playing surface with 2,200 RPM on day one. This isn't what people expected I think. With Agar carrying an injury (and rarely getting said rev counter out of the "green") Smith may hav an invaluable role on this match as day one spin suggest come Englands second innings and a rougher pitch he might be turning it square...with bounce.

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    I think if England get 350 this test is over. People are talking about it being Australia's day but I just don't see Australia getting that many. The new ball will do a bit, Swann is going to be a lot harder to play on this wicket and England will have the reverse swing going better than the Aussies managed to do today

  • on July 18, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Don't see how the day could belong to Australia when it is unlikely they can score +250 with this current batting lineup. So really England is in a strong position. Unfortunately under Clarke's captaincy I can't see oz winning a test (

  • Biggus on July 18, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    In most games you'd say Australia had the best of the day's play but given the fragility of our batting the best I can say is to call it even. Bresnan, Broad and Swan can bat a bit and Anderson can hang around at times so if we don't strike early and hard we may still be facing a substantial total. Predictions that we'll roll the Poms for 300 look optimistic, and they could easily make 350, or even 400 with some grit and/or luck. We'll have to make at least 400, and whilst I think it's within our power to do so it's going to take some top order players to perform. This England side doesn't look nearly as good as the side that beat us down under last time when they struck me as the most remorseless English side I'd seen, and if our top order were performing even moderately well the series might be very close. The fate of our series hangs in the balance and if we can't make a decent show of it tomorrow the auspices for the rest of the games are not good at all. Dig deep lads!

  • JG2704 on July 18, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Another topsy turvey day's cricket and how refreshing to (so far) see no junk comms - well not from any Eng/Aus fans anyway.

    It's strange that the batsmen Eng thought were dependable have mostly been less than dependable and the lower mid order who I and many others had doubts over are coming up trumps just when they need to. Well done Bell. I have at times criticised his selection (which I feel I was right about at the time) but I'm pleased that he is doing the business right now and I do genuinely like him as a person. I believe Smith started out as more of a bowler but not sure if his bowling regressed or his batting improved or both. JB would be disappointed but the ball he got Bell out with any spinner would be proud of. Once again the game is nicely set up

  • on July 18, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Another beautiful innings by Bell, but those 3 quick wickets at the end of the day has given the advantage to Australia, I think. Hope I'm wrong, but I can't see England getting much above 320, and, once again, it will be up to the bowlers to try and turn this Test around again. Good bowling by Harris, and credit to Clarke for his use of Smith. I just can't see Cook doing something similar in the same circumstances.

  • jackthelad on July 18, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Do you imagine this shower can beat 300 for it's first innings? Job is already done, declare.

  • chrisu on July 18, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    I hope Cook learns a little from Clarke with regards to using part time spinners. Up at Trent Bridge Joe Root was taking a wicket every second over. If England had stuck with him it would have saved us all some fingernails on the last day!

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 18, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    A fairly enthralling seesaw day full of great shots and good balls. Bell was superb in his runscoring and Trott and Bairstow made their mark too. Interesting watching Harris at work- I can see why he is highly regarded. The leggies were a bit of revelation but Smith is a bit older than 2011. I would say that if England get to 360 they will be quite well placed. Lovely wicket here!

  • Chazzaca on July 18, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    My apologies for part of my previous post as I quoted a couple of misleading stats. There have been only 28 successful run chases at Lord's but that win/loss run chase stat should read 28-30 and not 28-51 as I forgot to take into account the 21 tests at Lord's won by an innings.

  • ThyrSaadam on July 18, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    It will not be correct to drop Prior, he has pretty much been the talisman of English test cricket. But if Root keeps failing at the top, and Baristow keeps scoring, and Prior keeps failing , then would the team management drop Prior, bring in an opener, and drop Root down the order, and have Bairstow keep? What a long question, but you get the picture. If Eng wins nothing will change most likely, but if they loose, then they'll certainly have a lot of questions to answer. Its too early to predict anything, but just saying....

  • 5wombats on July 18, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Good innings from Bell. Looks like this is going to be his time.

  • Chazzaca on July 18, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    If the Aussies don't get a substantial lead (100+ runs) then they'll be in trouble as Lord's has been a graveyard for teams batting last.

    There have been 126 tests at the home of cricket before this one with 79 results. The ratio of win/losses for teams chasing in the 4th innings is 28-51!! The highest successful 4th innings run chase in Ashes history at Lord's is 129 by the Aussies in 1921!! Therefore the Aussies will have to make around 500 and hope they don't have to bat again!!

  • on July 18, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    I still have England ahead even though Australia will be very happy with the day. It was a very good toss to win and England haven't made the most of it. Say England make 300, Australia will need 400 at least if they are going to win the game and I don't they will do that. Good first day.

  • latecut_04 on July 18, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Eng has a very small tail on paper---Broad,Bresnan,Swann can all bat.only 'REAL' tailender is Jimmy/Finn.Yet they fail to make as many runs as Aus tail.Tell you what its the typical Aus grit and fight which produce valuable runs from the lower order.Starting with Haddin they have a bit of 'Australianism' which cannot be plannd against.A few blokes at the top of the order dont have it.same applies for 1/2 bowlers.Once they are found out I really think Australia have a team to watch out for..and this is from India.Eng may win this Ashes but i think their best is past them.(in11-12.)Amazing since they seemed so young and durable only a year or so back....

  • 2MikeGattings on July 18, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Another handy partnership for Bairstow, even if he did contrive to throw his wicket away *twice*. With Prior in such pitiful form I wonder how much longer it will be before Bairstow comes into consideration for the wicketkeeping role.

  • chitti_cricket on July 18, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    In good may posts I stated Smith should bowl, Clarke did not show true maturity here. When the ball was old and Smith shown some turn on this dry pitch in scathing heat he should have operated double spin and put more pressure on England. The current score England has put looks to me good and they go around 320 or 350 will put Australia truly under pressure. This wicket again seems more a subcontinent wicket. See ever time the ball bowled dust coming out of wicket. Seems like by day 3 the pitch may start turning square and ask batsmen good quality questions. So if Australia entertain any chance in this test match they should bat very very good in their first innings and show character, but not flair. Flair may look good up front but won't be consistent. So Batsmen should apply themselves and get at least a 100 first innings lead so they can put England under tremendous pressure around 2nd innings.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    @ Lyndon McPaul. Bell had no idea that ball was going to turn as much. It was a beauty, and Bell looked thoroughly confused! Smith took no time in becoming the most successful spinner in this series!

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    contd.

    Not saying Pattinson will be as good as Dale Steyn, but I think Steyn was definitely a "raw young quick" when he first burst on the scene. Takes a while for young guys to settle down, mature and become the thinking bowler Dale Steyn is today.

    As for Pattinson taking 5 at Trent Bridge, so did Starc. Pattinson took 5-170, Starc 5-135. 35 runs less in a match they lost by just 14.

    I like Pattinson as a bowler, there's a load of potential there and he could very well become one of the very best fast bowlers in the world, but I just found it a surprise that so many were calling for Starc to be replaced by Harris or Bird for more control yet Pattinson was the most wayward of their bowlers. Starc seems a better bowler with a Duke's ball in swinging conditions, and when it reverses that left arm angle can be a real asset (round the wicket).

    Meh, guess I should be grateful. We'd be in an even bigger hole if they'd picked him instead of Pattinson.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    @Greatest_Game I think he's an exciting bowler, although more in the Steyn mould than the Philander one. Worth pointing out that Steyn after 11 Tests actually had a much worse record than Pattinson (42 wickets at 31.54, strike rate 48.5, Pattinson's got 45 at 24.55 with a strike rate of 45.2).

    Not like Pattinson's had an easier run of it either; Steyn's first 11 including just one overseas tour, 2 Tests in Sri Lanka, where he 8 wickets at 36.5, strike rate of 46.3). He had home series against New Zealand and Pakistan, while at the end of his first series against England, in South Africa, he had 8 wickets at 52 and a strike-rate of 75.2!

    Meanwhile Pattinson's first subcontinent tour, he played 3 Tests in India and took 9 at 27.77, strike rate of 52.6. The really interesting comparison is the fact both had two Tests against India at home; Pattinson got 11 wickets at 23.36 strike-rate of 40.9. Steyn got 6 wickets at 19, strike-rate of 44.1.

    contd.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    @ H_Z_O No question that Philander is not a quick. I think he's much the same Watson: 130 - 135 max. In Philander's 1st test, Watson blew SA away with 5 for 17, and Philander came back and right away took 5 for 15! When Watson did in Cook today it was like I was watching the Lords test a year ago - 2nd ball nips in & Cook misreads, plays slightly early, & is caught dead plumb. I did not hear what Nasser said - it is so boring I turn it down - but these dismissals make some sense in light of that. I guess he should net more with med pacers - but then again surely he faces Broad & Anderson often enough ;)

    When Clarke brought on Smith & he promptly dismissed Bell, Bairstow & Prior, I said to myself "hmmm… I thought England had overcome their spin demons!" Bairstow's "2mm overstep" escape after being clean bowled was lucky, & offering such a dreadful stroke to a low full toss did his reputation no good. Out twice to bad shots ... Root misfiring at the top … what lies ahead for Compton?

  • on July 18, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    @SirViv..(lol) What do you think of Smith's bowling so far? A BEAUTIFUL ball to get Bell. A lucky full toss to get Bairstowe and a clever changeup to get Prior. Smith could Be our random performer for the match only with the ball this time...lol (Agar for Trent Bridge). Another great thing was the fact that Prior was disgusted at himself for losing the battle against Smith and couldnt stop shaking his head as he walked off and might be just as likely to play a stupid shot off his bowling next time to try and get on top. If Australia is able to produce one unexpectedly freakish performance per match with a player doing something special with their secondary skills; it might tip the balance of the whole series!! Warner's bowling is of a similar quality to Smith also!

  • Kitschiguy on July 18, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    Great knock from Bell - he out-classed all of the Australian bowlers today.

    Australia were really on the ropes until Smith's pies netted him three lucky wickets. The only reason he got a bowl was because Clarke didn't know who to turn to since Harris and Watson were both knackered and the others were leaking runs. Nonetheless, it's evened things up and the match has got a lot more interesting.

  • Bodders70 on July 18, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Clearly Australia's day on what appears to be an excellent batting surface. However, I'm a bit averse to agreeing with the commentator's statements that 400-450 is about par until both sides have batted. As well as some turn there's bounce so this pitch will suit Swann much more than Trent Bridge. I can definitely see a smallish Aussie first inning lead and an eventful fourth innings chase on the cards!

  • on July 18, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Well if Australia don't win from here, they might as well go home. Despite some pretty ordinary bowling on a track that most batsmen would give anything to bat on. England will be struggling to make 320+ barring some lower order heroics in the morning. Unless Australia throw their wickets away even worse than England (Which would be an achievement in itself!) they should have this in the bag looks like being 1-1 in the series.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    @Jono Makim Excellent day's work for your boys, especially Harris early doors. We may be talking about Smith's 3 late strikes now, but without Harris' early wickets it probably would have been a very different innings. Losing 3 for not many adds lots of pressure, especially when you win the toss in near-perfect batting conditions.

    I actually was surprised Clarke didn't bowl Smith at Trent Bridge, at least when Ian Bell was going so well. There was little in that pitch for the seamers and Agar looks a better bowler against lefties than righties (more topspin, less sidespin).

    For all the talk about this being Finn's home ground, it's worth reminding folks that Chris Rogers has already scored two centuries at Lord's this season alone (184 and 214). Different calibre of bowling but if he does half as well it'll set Australia up for a mammoth total. Clarke missed out on a ton by 9 runs in 2005, scored 136 in 2009 and Haddin also scored 80 in that same innings in 2009. Game on.

  • on July 18, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    I cannot understand Clarke's ethos.

    1. He said if Watson plays, he should play as an all rounder and bowl (which is fine) why is the same not gor Smith.

    2. Why did Smith come at 78th over.

    3. Very importantly, why did he take the new ball so soon?

    Sorry to say this, he is not looking like winning captain.

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    I hope England's tail don't scratch around again with the bat, They may as well go out there and swing the bat and see what happens. Swann and Jimmy need to start swinging the bat instead of pretending to play properly and getting out for single figures.

  • Greatest_Game on July 18, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    @ H_Z_O. Can't but agree with you about Starc & Pattinson. This series continues to expose Pattinson as not the "brilliant young quick - full of fire," he was eagerly described as a year ago, but more of "a raw young quick - full of it."

    Today, he started by leaking 12 in his 1st 2, pulled it back to 4 an over but never looked threatening. His 16 in a "one over spell," put unwanted pressure on Harris & Watson - Aus' most injury prone bowlers. James Anderson, test ave 10.64, took 4 runs off him in the last over, just the 2nd with the new ball! He was the most expensive Aus bowler at Trent Bridge, but did take 5 - not the best-earned wickets, but still.

    A year ago he was being compared with Philander, his ave 19 & SR 34 after a total of 5 matches against NZ & India in Oz, and WI at home. Coming into this series it was up to 24.5, SR 45. End of play today it is up to 26.3, SR 47.6. Without some cheap wickets, I think he'll see Starc, Bird or Faulkner getting the nod ahead of him!

  • lankymanky on July 18, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    alexander meerkat said it best when he said Steve Smith, congratulations.

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I'm going to say it now, Swann will get 7 or 8 wickets on here, I've got that feeling. He averages 20 at Lords per wicket and nothing I've seen today is telling me he won't get that again

    Credit to Smith. I think he's underrated as a bowler, leg spin isn't easy and he's too good at it to be ignored. He might bowl the odd bad ball but he'll get you a wicket or two as well

  • on July 18, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    Well, what do you/can you make of that? It looked good for batting to me but those 3 big poles early and Steve Smith's late 3 mean Aus is just a good session away from getting England out a lot cheaper than you'd expect on a flat deck. Of course though it is then over to the Aussie batsmen to back that up.... Aus will be happy they don't have a great big 6 foot 6 seamer digging holes in the pitch for Swann as the pitch is bone dry... You'd suspect Aus will absolutely need a big first innings lead to win this, but how many will be enough? Will they even manage to take a lead? Wow, this match is set up for another classic!

  • MartinC on July 18, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    Good day overall for Australia - if they can get England out for 350 or less that's a good effort on what's been a good wicket to bat on so far. However it was a good fight back from Bell supported by Trott and Bairstow that has England still well in the game. If England can get to say 375 they will feel well in this game with the frailties of the Australian top order.

  • latecut_04 on July 18, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Well done Steve Smith..especially considering he is in the side as batting insurance!!but England's traditional vulnrability to legspin continues which surely is a worr.I really think Anderson would have got out had Clarke persisted with Smith.Having said that Smith's figures today puts 2 things in perspective--Indian spin and Eng batting(real strength)

  • Shan156 on July 18, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    @gsingh7, "smith is beautifully taking apart england bowling", yes, especially considering those bowlers are Bell, Bairstow, and Prior.

    However, you got to give credit to Clarke for bringing him on at that time (although that was kind of the only option as he was running out of ideas to separate Bell and Bairstow) and keeping him on for another 5 overs. It was not beautiful bowling by Smith (perhaps except the Bell wicket) but dreadful application by the England batsmen, Prior and especially, Bairstow.

    This game is not over yet. England bowlers can pose the same problems to the Aussies but we need to get at least 350, I think.

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    Swann won't get the revs on the ball that Smith does but he'll get more than Agar. This pitch looks like it may spin a bit and will have a bit more pace and bounce than Trent Bridge so Swann could yet play a pivotal role. He'll need some decent runs on the board though. England will want to scrap their way to 350 but the new ball may have something to say about that, especially if Pattinson comes back renewed tomorrow.

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    I agree with the comments saying that bringing Smith on was no great genius from Clarke. Keeping him on, on the other hand...

  • Shan156 on July 18, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    There you go, Prior is totally out of form but it is sad that they are gifting wickets to Smith. Forget 350, I doubt if England will reach 300. And, what is this thing with sending Jimmy ahead of Broad. Does Broad need a nightwatchman?

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    Given the excellent batting conditions for most of the day and the fact that England won the toss, you'd have to award the points to Australia for the day. England really need to tough it out for another session at least tomorrow to get into a strong position. Harris was excellent and Watson good, while Siddle was OK given the conditions. Pattinson was pretty poor and Agar can be forgiven for being ineffective given that it's the first day, although he'll have to rip the ball harder to have an impact even later in the game. Smith was obviously a bonus. He actually bowled very well for a part-time leggie and really earned Bell's wicket with a ball that could have got many a good batsman. Bairstow was mostly responsible for his own dismissal with a lazy shot but now Prior's just gone to Smith as well! Another good delivery too. Maybe England are taking him a bit (a lot?) too lightly. Australia well on top now. England should have made 400 minimum but 300 might be all they get now.

  • gsingh7 on July 18, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    prior gone . smith is beautifully taking apart england bowling. 6 out of his 7 test wickets are taken in lords. what a turn around. 3 for 16

  • on July 18, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Wow, Steve Smith gets wickets. Now, if he doesn't get any runs, he can "declare" that he is primarily a spinner who can bat. (Just like when he failed to take wickets or even bother tail enders, he "declared" he is a batsman). Agar gets 98, Steve Smith gets wickets, what unthinkable are we going to see next? Hughes getting a ton? Sun rising from the west?

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Swann has a decent record at Lords, it's a lot better than his record at Trent Bridge. I think Swann wilol do well on here. Smith doing well though, I don't know why Aus don't play 4 seamers and use smith as their spin option. Agar is no good with the ball, I think he needs a few years to get his skills up

  • Shan156 on July 18, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    England are wasting their opportunity here. Two key wickets to "can't bowl to save my life" Smith? Bairstow's dismissal was terrible. Yes, he did score a valuable 67 but with the new ball around the corner, he should have put a high price on his wicket. Instead, he just hits a full toss back to the bowler. He is a young man and has to learn a lot and will over the course of his career. But, at the moment, it has left England in a spot of bother. We have big Tim at the crease now who has to justify his selection ahead of Finn. Let's hope we get a decent score from him. I don't expect any wickets from him but at least he can give us some runs. England look like they will fall short of 350 which is just par in this pitch.

  • gsingh7 on July 18, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    steve smith is best spinner on tour. better than agar and better than swannn who averages 40 plus vs aus and averaged 55 in 2nd innings last test. smith have 2 wickets in 7 balls. 274/6 now england.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 18, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Yet another wonderful hundred from Ian Bell, the most aesthetically pure batsmen in world cricket. He's gaining a habit of taking apart Australian bowlers with every shot in the book.

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Part time spinner Smith is better than main spinner Agar

  • gsingh7 on July 18, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    bell looking comfortable on homegrounds. but we all know how he failed in tough indian conditions. on one occasion he charged down first ball to lob a dolly to mid off like he is batting at 150. he willl again be weak spot for england when conditions are unfavorable like in sharjah or uae.

  • Aussasinator on July 18, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    If England cross 350 in the first innings it would be adequate for this Australian batting line up at Lords. But I wonder why Steve Finn was dropped?

  • on July 18, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    bairstow got another chance prove his ability,,,and he showed his ability to the ausies,,,,,well played go on bairstow,,, :)

  • sweet2hrme on July 18, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Now who will take wickets ..!! Aus bowling is looking helpless now. Surely nothing in the pitch Aus is going to loose another ......

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    @Greatest_Game Nasser actually spoke about that on commentary, not Philander's dismissal specifically, but how Cook's actually struggled against "slower" seamers.

    His First Class record, for example, is worse than his Test one, and that's probably the result of the pace of the bowlers domestically being much lower. Cook's a back foot player primarily, slower bowlers force him to come forward and he tends to be a good lbw candidate to a more "fast-medium" bowler than an out and out quick.

    Not saying Philander's slow but compared to Steyn and Morkel he is ;).

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @jmcilhinney Controversial as it may sound, I was surprised they dropped Starc not Pattinson. I know Pattinson's the gun bowler with a great record, but he's struggled to control the swing from the new Dukes ball so far, even in the warm up, and Starc seemed to control it much better (he terrorised England in that second innings with it, before it started to soften), possibly benefitting from his time with Yorkshire.

    Not to mention variety. Harris, Siddle and Pattinson are all right arm and all within a couple of inches of each other, height-wise. Starc's 4 or 5 inches taller and brings the left arm angle. And he comfortably out-bowled Pattinson at Trent Bridge.

    Pattinson's hardly the first swing bowler to struggle (funnily enough our own Jimmy had similar struggles, where the ball hooped but he couldn't control it) and I'm sure he'll come good with it eventually, but there's an argument that Pattinson should've made way for Harris instead of Starc.

    Bet he takes 5-for now.

  • SirViv1973 on July 18, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    @Jmcihinney, My thoughts are that CA will try to manage Harris & I have a suspicion that will mean that they won't risk him in back 2 back tests in future. He will have 9 days in between here & OT so I would expect him to play there but suspect he may be rested for Durham with only 3 days in between those games, he could then conceivably return for the final game at the Oval. I agree re Pattinson he has clearly struggled here today. He is certainly a talented bowler who should do well in yrs to come back but his bowling ave of 23.5 at the start of the series was very flattering.

  • on July 18, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    @ glen1 England got beaten in the first test during the india tour but they came back and won the series 2-1 so its just about a team having the belief and playing well

  • Iddo555 on July 18, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Very average this Agar, if I was Lyon I wouldn't be happy.

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    It's early days but Ashton Agar is looking fairly ineffective right now. It's only day 1 but the worry is that he's more often than not around the 1800-1900 RPM mark, so he's not going to get a lot of drift or dip either. Maybe he's being affected by the cut on his finger that the commentators have mentioned but he'll need to improve if he's to have an impact in this game as the pitch wears. It's probably a bit much to expect a 19 y.o. spinner to have a major impact, given that spinners are known to develop later than other players. Agar making those runs in game 1 may actually have helped England by getting him selected here where Lyon may have done a better job. That said, Agar's bowling wasn't too bad in game 1, where the pitch didn't help spin as much as it looked like it might.

  • Shan156 on July 18, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    What a comeback by Bell after an ordinary 2012! He needs to cash in now and make it big. I wanted Eng. to drop Bairstow and play another bowler but he is displaying his value here although he has to improve technically. I still feel that England need to play 5 bowlers but with the current form of our batsmen, and considering that the opening partner for Alastair Cook is still not taken, it may not be a bad idea to play the extra batsman. I actually feel sorry for Joe Root. To be asked to open just before an Ashes series must have been tough for the youngster.

    Anyway, I would be more than happy to be proved wrong about Bresnan but I cannot see him trouble any batsmen on this pitch. He may have been a better choice at TB with his ability to reverse swing but on a pitch like this, Finn's extra pace and height would have been more helpful. Considering Finn has an excellent record here in his home ground, England's decision appears very silly.

  • runout49 on July 18, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    Why don't teams have a third man these days. Australia would have saved at least 40 runs and with an orthodox gully would have had another wicket.

  • glen1 on July 18, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    These days, tourists put out their best performance in the first test. If they win, they can carry their momentum forward. If they lose, they will be staring at 0-4, or trying to avoid a whitewash. There is undeniably a psychological effect on touring teams. Hopefully, I am proved wrong here.

  • on July 18, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    great to see young bairstow fighting it out under pressure

  • sweet2hrme on July 18, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Pitch hv nothing!! its completely batting pitch.. Aus bowlers hv struggled after giving early blow. Now Eng is in comfort zone. They can easily beat Aus!

  • 2MikeGattings on July 18, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    Harris comfortably the pick. The lads need to fill their boots off the rest...

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Harris has obviously been an inspired selection and looks like making very hard for Starc or anyone else to get into the Aussie bowling lineup any time soon, barring injury. Other than when he was somewhat unlucky not to dismiss Bairstow, Siddle has not looked especially threatening in what, it has to be said, are very good batting conditions but Pattinson has been genuinely disappointing. I don't see either of them being dropped for the next game though. I'd be very interested to know Clarke's exact thought process when bringing Watson on so early because that turned out to be inspired too.

    It looks like Gooch has some work to do with Bairstow as there's definitely a technical problem there. He was obviously lucky to be reprieved but I can't feel to sorry for Siddle or Australia as I didn't see much sympathy when Broad dismissed P Jayawardene off a no-ball last time England were in SL and that was a significant factor in their losing the first Test.

  • SirViv1973 on July 18, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul, I would have to agree with you. I'm not saying Lyon is a world beater but his bowling is far more of a threat than Agar's is at this point in time. I wouldn't be surprised if Agar actually ends up like Steve Smith who started out as a bowler who could bat and has now become a batsman & who balls part time.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Yes - great effort by Bell once more, and ample support from Bairstow and especially Trott. Really not happy with Root opening - every innings proving my point more and more. But if Bairstow does well here, what do England do? Headaches again for selectors I guess...

  • SirViv1973 on July 18, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    It's been a good comeback from Eng from being 28/3 and despite loosing trott you would have to say that was Eng session. The last session of the day is now all important I would think Aus will want another 3 wickets to be able to really cash in on their great start as for Eng if we can get up to 300 and not loose more than 1 more wicket then it will end up being a pretty decent day.

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 18, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    A great fightback from ENG - a hundred run partnership for the fourth wicket (or thereabouts), and a steady 40 or so added for the fifth since then. If OZ are reeling at 3/28, how many people out there are confident that we'd add another 140-odd runs for the loss of just one more wicket? Therein lies the biggest difference between the two teams at this time. The OZ bowlers are bowling well, as was expected. I just hope our top order produces something special when we are given the opportunity to bat. Good to see Ryan Harris fit and bowling well - fast bowling is one area where we do have a lot of depth.

  • on July 18, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Agar has to make way for Lion next test. Lion at the moment is at least twice the spinner Agar is.

  • SirViv1973 on July 18, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    With Root misfiring at the top of the order you feel Baistow needs a decent score here to vindicate his selection ahead on Compton.

  • on July 18, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    @whofriggincares, the ghosts of ashes past, lingering in the crowd... !

  • whofriggincares on July 18, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Faces in the crowd, Border ,Waugh , Ponting , Warne , Gilchrist . Lots of bad memories there for the English. Add too that Holding , Atherton, Strauss , Botham and no doubt countless others. That is an incredible amount of cricket talent in the one stadium!

  • 2MikeGattings on July 18, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Pattinson seems off the pace again. Is he struggling with the slope/run up? I'm getting the same feeling that I got watching Mitchell Johnson in 2009.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 18, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    @bravetigersmustwin, there are possibly 3 series that are close to the ashes, one we've not seen in a long time and thats an India vs Pakistan series, which is a shame, the other 2 involve Australia and England vs South Africa.

    Though for english fans its the significance of the Ashes that matter, it being linked to the cremated remains of English cricket.

  • cricfan140 on July 18, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    now its a real test for the aussies. both bell and trott are really good batsmen who are quiet capable of batting for long time, i think this partnership is really crutial for england and for australia it,s really important to break them.....

  • Surajrises on July 18, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Australian's have to show more fire power to get rid off this pair quickly. This pair is settling down and that can be very dangerous...

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Aye - skittles it is. Root once again failing in the opening slot (surprise surprise) and KP once again getting out early (surprise surprise). Another Bell/Trott special, or will this game be over by Day 3?

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on July 18, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Few weeks ago KP told that cook can surpass Sachin in tests...both gone for nothing today....

  • on July 18, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    really need the wicket of trott . he looked in great touch in the first innings at Trent bridge. bell is good but I feel his slow scoring rate can put some pressure on his partners to get on with it a bit.

  • cricfan140 on July 18, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    i think it,s a pretty good dision. harris can be real hndy in these english conditions, he is quick and can swing the ball as well. he well be a reall challenge for english batsmen. the middle order of aussies is reallystruggling as well to taking khawaja in is a good dision

  • cccrider on July 18, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Pattinson is rubbish. Bird would do much much better.

  • bravetigersmustwin on July 18, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Im supporting aussies. Im an indian fan. I worry why there is no equivalent test series ( played by other nations ) to Ashes. almost all the matches played for ashes are close ones. Was it because of the pitch they prepare for ashes or the players of both nation value this cup more than world cup? Yes its huge for both the countries. Aussies didnt even care much about the champions trophy and there were serious prepartion for AShes

  • on July 18, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    how good is a fit Harris. great record and would be better if he did not get all the injuries. great start for the aussies.

  • on July 18, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Surprised by Finn's omission as it sets a precedent that puts pressure on anyone slight off form. Bresnan's better batting a bonus.

  • SirViv1973 on July 18, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    There is always something in the pitch on the first morning of a Lords test for the seamers. Generally that tends to disapear by early afternoon & it tends to become a btasman's paradise, with the ball doingvery little for the rest of the especially when the sun is out. Bell & Trott need to hang in here I doubt very much we will get away with posting the sort of 1st inns score we did at TB, great start for Aus after the loosing the toss.

  • Surajrises on July 18, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    This is a great start for Australia. Hope they can rip apart the rest of the England Line up. That would be fun to watch. Cook, Root and Pietersen gone. Now I hope Bell and Trott are also shown their way to the pavilion quickly.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Australia well on top here. Root's not a huge wicket (still not convinced he should be opening but there you go), Cook is and Pietersen is. That's two big wickets with not much on the board.

    Always rated Ryan Harris, said so before the series. Quality bowler, quick, accurate and swings it. If he wasn't so injury prone he'd be leading this Aussie attack, but he can't stay fit enough to play back-to-back Tests.

    Good selection by Australia too, Starc at Trent Bridge where it was expected to go around corners, Harris at Lords where accuracy is key (with the slope).

  • poms_have_short_memories on July 18, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    2/8 Harris, this is why Rhino is considered one of the best bowlers around when he is fit and firing.

  • disco_bob on July 18, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Please allow me to head off the inevitable torrent of DRS complaints about 'it hit bat first' and so on.

    Remember, if Root had hit it, then he would not be consulting with Trott. Ergo, yes had Root reviewed immediately then probably the third umpire might have been inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Brave decision to use common sense and give Root out.

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 18, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    A great toss to win for ENG, but hopefully the OZ bowlers can conjure something special. That being said, the Pommy batting line-up is very strong, especially in comparison to ours. For OZ to have any chance, we must keep ENG to 350 or less, then somehow manage to score 450+ in our 1st innings. Not very likely, but after the fight we showed in the 1st test, you never know. I feel sorry for Finn, who struggled at times on the placid and flat track that was Trent Bridge (especially in terms of bounce). As an OZ supporter, I'm very happy that he was left out for Bresnan, as Finn would have been much more of a threat at Lords. Jimmy and Swann are still the main dangers.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Watson once again showing that pace = nothing in cricket; movement + accuracy = everything! Fair-ye-well Alistair; enjoy the game from the balcony.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Fantastic captaincy by Clarke to bring on Watson. He's not as quick as Pattinson so where the ball looked to be bouncing over the stumps with Pattinson, it was clearly hitting with Watson.

  • on July 18, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Good, and brave, call by England. Bresnan will bowl his heart out and is a hit the deck bowler which in this weather is what is needed. Finn could, in theory, do that too but when called upon to raise his game, he didn't or couldn't.

    As for Australia, it's very early in the series to make two changes not enforced by injury and it has the whiff of panic about it. Khawaja has talent, but if he's as good as his fans suggest, why hasn't he nailed a place in the Australian side yet?

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Good toss to win once again; definitely advantage to bat first. As much as I like Bresnan, Finn + Lords is a better combo. than most other pitches. Hey-ho, selector I am not...

    Hughes should come in at 4, leaving Clarke at 5 where he does best. Let's see how Root does at second game opening, and Bairstow at 6... Still say Cook + Compton opening; Root down at 6.

  • ravi_hari on July 18, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Horses for courses is the theory adopted by both teams. Harris in particular has been chosen keeping the Lords conditions in view. Hope he lasts the test and brings Aussies their winning streak back. Khawaja gets another chance to show if he is made for the big league. This could be his last chance and if he succeeds, Aussies will breathe easy. With Warner set to return sooner than later, Khwaja, Hughes and Smith will be looking to consolidate their positions with better performances. Smith with his gutsy innings in India and at Trent Bridge has a better chance of continuing even if he fails here. Hughes will be vulnerable against spin and if England pick 2 spinners he will be the first to make way. Hence, it is important for Khawaja to perform well here and continue throughout this series. Can he be another Hussey? Watson and Rodgers have their task cut out. They need to continue their form and one of them should go for the big one. A do or die test for Aussies. Hope they win it.

  • Mitty2 on July 18, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    We've made some very good decisions - one of Harris or bird are just so much better than starc, and Cowan performed terribly, so no excuses boys.

    In last test, we had some very good plans to the eng batsmen and we executed them well for the most part. Interesting to see if Harris will respond to the plans for each batsmen or just goes it instinctively. Above all, we need to be economical. We saw what happened when England played NZ, they get bogged down when the bowling's tight and get out after starts. Reverse will be key, patto was the best exponent of it in the first days... C'mon boys! No excuses!

  • on July 18, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Khawaja in place of Ed Cowan is an excellent move. Inshallah Khawaja will Deliver

    Mitc shouldnt be removed as english batsmen have problems against the left handers

    Hoping it pays off for the aussies.

    Any ways Best of luck both the teams

  • 5wombats on July 18, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Good to see Ryan Harris for Australia. A good player who has fought off injury time after time. Go well.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 18, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Not sure about Bresnan for Finn as Bressy hasnt really bowled well at lords in the past, however he does strengthen the batting a little bit so should the top order wobble it might be a little deeper and get more runs.

    Cook needed to win and bat first, the 1st hour could be tough as there will be a little bit of moisture early on.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 18, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Not sure about Bresnan for Finn as Bressy hasnt really bowled well at lords in the past, however he does strengthen the batting a little bit so should the top order wobble it might be a little deeper and get more runs.

    Cook needed to win and bat first, the 1st hour could be tough as there will be a little bit of moisture early on.

  • 5wombats on July 18, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Good to see Ryan Harris for Australia. A good player who has fought off injury time after time. Go well.

  • on July 18, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Khawaja in place of Ed Cowan is an excellent move. Inshallah Khawaja will Deliver

    Mitc shouldnt be removed as english batsmen have problems against the left handers

    Hoping it pays off for the aussies.

    Any ways Best of luck both the teams

  • Mitty2 on July 18, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    We've made some very good decisions - one of Harris or bird are just so much better than starc, and Cowan performed terribly, so no excuses boys.

    In last test, we had some very good plans to the eng batsmen and we executed them well for the most part. Interesting to see if Harris will respond to the plans for each batsmen or just goes it instinctively. Above all, we need to be economical. We saw what happened when England played NZ, they get bogged down when the bowling's tight and get out after starts. Reverse will be key, patto was the best exponent of it in the first days... C'mon boys! No excuses!

  • ravi_hari on July 18, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Horses for courses is the theory adopted by both teams. Harris in particular has been chosen keeping the Lords conditions in view. Hope he lasts the test and brings Aussies their winning streak back. Khawaja gets another chance to show if he is made for the big league. This could be his last chance and if he succeeds, Aussies will breathe easy. With Warner set to return sooner than later, Khwaja, Hughes and Smith will be looking to consolidate their positions with better performances. Smith with his gutsy innings in India and at Trent Bridge has a better chance of continuing even if he fails here. Hughes will be vulnerable against spin and if England pick 2 spinners he will be the first to make way. Hence, it is important for Khawaja to perform well here and continue throughout this series. Can he be another Hussey? Watson and Rodgers have their task cut out. They need to continue their form and one of them should go for the big one. A do or die test for Aussies. Hope they win it.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Good toss to win once again; definitely advantage to bat first. As much as I like Bresnan, Finn + Lords is a better combo. than most other pitches. Hey-ho, selector I am not...

    Hughes should come in at 4, leaving Clarke at 5 where he does best. Let's see how Root does at second game opening, and Bairstow at 6... Still say Cook + Compton opening; Root down at 6.

  • on July 18, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Good, and brave, call by England. Bresnan will bowl his heart out and is a hit the deck bowler which in this weather is what is needed. Finn could, in theory, do that too but when called upon to raise his game, he didn't or couldn't.

    As for Australia, it's very early in the series to make two changes not enforced by injury and it has the whiff of panic about it. Khawaja has talent, but if he's as good as his fans suggest, why hasn't he nailed a place in the Australian side yet?

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Fantastic captaincy by Clarke to bring on Watson. He's not as quick as Pattinson so where the ball looked to be bouncing over the stumps with Pattinson, it was clearly hitting with Watson.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Watson once again showing that pace = nothing in cricket; movement + accuracy = everything! Fair-ye-well Alistair; enjoy the game from the balcony.

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 18, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    A great toss to win for ENG, but hopefully the OZ bowlers can conjure something special. That being said, the Pommy batting line-up is very strong, especially in comparison to ours. For OZ to have any chance, we must keep ENG to 350 or less, then somehow manage to score 450+ in our 1st innings. Not very likely, but after the fight we showed in the 1st test, you never know. I feel sorry for Finn, who struggled at times on the placid and flat track that was Trent Bridge (especially in terms of bounce). As an OZ supporter, I'm very happy that he was left out for Bresnan, as Finn would have been much more of a threat at Lords. Jimmy and Swann are still the main dangers.