England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's July 17, 2013

England can be confident of second success

113

Match facts

Thursday, July 18, Lord's
Start time 1100 (1000 GMT) First day: 1115 (1015 GMT)

Big Picture

Anyone arriving back from a remote location having missed the first Test will look at the series score and shrug their shoulders in acceptance of a thoroughly anticipated result. That might have been the best way to watch the first Test because it produced an outrageously tense match. Public Health England are considering issuing a warning in light of leaping blood pressure caused by just over four days at Trent Bridge.

It need not have been the case. Twice in the match, Australia were one ball away from oblivion. At 117 for 9 their worst fears about their batting order had been realised and had Ashton Agar been given out stumped when on just 6, a first-innings deficit of 85 would surely have resulted in a crushing defeat. That almost ensued anyway, when Australia were nine down with another 80 needed to win.

England can take great confidence from the fact that they largely outplayed Australia and, in Jimmy Anderson and Ian Bell, produced the two outstanding performances of the match, something Michael Clarke admitted meant England deserved to win. Australia scrapped away with Peter Siddle and Brad Haddin and looked to be getting on top with Agar and Mitchell Starc but it transpired that they didn't have enough quality to beat England. In that regard, the first Test went to form.

England now have the chance to take a giant stride towards retaining the Investec Ashes on a ground where they have become very successful in recent years with only one Test defeat - to South Africa last summer - since the 2005 Ashes. Australia will hope to rekindle their love affair with the Home of Cricket, having enjoyed a 71-year unbeaten run there from 1938 to 2009. But only four of their squad have previously played a Test at Lord's.

Their task could be very difficult because they look short of runs and plenty will be needed during a very hot week in London. They do have potential to work with - the opening partnership of Shane Watson and Chris Rogers showed promise, Steve Smith appeared in decent touch, Phillip Hughes looked a different player against Graeme Swann and the lower-order demonstrated how dangerous they can be - but they must produce for Australia to be competitive. It will be interesting to see how they come out of Trent Bridge; buoyed at having run England so close or nervous with the knowledge that the top six averaged 28.63 per wicket?

England will know that second fact but must ensure the make-up of their bowling attack is correct. Steven Finn proved somewhat of a liability at Trent Bridge, particularly as his second-innings spell sparked a counterattack. Tim Bresnan's greater control - an economy rate of 2.96 to Finn's 3.65 - and ability with reverse-swing may have served them better and he is the main option to replace Finn at Lord's. But Finn loves Lord's, his home ground. Can England leave out a bowler who has, excluding Bangladesh, taken 20 wickets at 20.60 in four Tests at Lord's?

Form guide

England: WWWDD
Australia: LLLLL

Players to watch

Kevin Pietersen loves Lord's. The grandeur of the place sits well with his character. It is also a jolly good pitch to bat on and Pietersen averages 61.40 in 14 Lord's Tests. He's played majestically at HQ - taking on Australia during his debut in 2005, belting South Africa for 152 in 2008 and producing one of his best innings, 202 not out against India in 2011. Pietersen was dropped from last year's grand week at Lord's and should be purring at the chance to reclaim the stage. He showed some form in a second-innings fifty at Trent Bridge. Australia beware.

The closest Australia have to Pietersen is Michael Clarke, albeit with less of a swagger but nevertheless a man for the big occasion. Clarke has to lead from the front in a manner that Alastair Cook managed for England in India - prove that runs can be scored. Australia need to know that England can be resisted and Clarke needs to be the man. He is the sole survivor from 2005, where he made a second-innings 91 to take the game away from England, and made 136 in 2009, albeit in a second innings where Australia were always sliding to defeat.

Team news

England's only decision is whether Finn keeps his place. His record at Lord's is excellent, and England like different style bowlers and Finn is the only tall quick in their squad. But Alastair Cook has said England are not afraid to change a winning side and Tim Bresnan or Graham Onions could replace Finn.

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Joe Root, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Steven Finn, 11 James Anderson.

Australia have two main questions to ask. Do they retain Ed Cowan, who looked out of touch at Trent Bridge? And do they tinker with the bowling attack? The likely scenario is that Cowan will make way for Usman Khawaja, while Ryan Harris appears set to replace Mitchell Starc.

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

Pitch and conditions

There's a heatwave in the UK and the temperature will remind the Australians of home. It's also likely to produce another very dry pitch but expect more pace and bounce than Trent Bridge. Lord's tracks have often got flatter as the match has progressed.

Stats and trivia

  • Australia have a superb record at Lord's with 16 victories and six defeats in 36 Tests, including victories over South Africa in 1912 and Pakistan in 2010.
  • From 1953 to 1985 there were only three results in 10 Tests between England and Australia, including the Centenary Test of 1980.
  • England are aiming to win their 50th Test at Lord's. They have lost 28 and drawn 47 at HQ.
  • Matt Prior has 37 Test dismissals at Lord's, the joint-most with Alec Stewart and Godfrey Evans.
  • Steve Waugh, who scored 231 runs in four Tests at Lord's, including a century, will ring the bell before the start of play on day one.

Quotes

"Obviously you try and be as loyal as you can to your players but on the other hand you always pick a side you think can win the Test."
Alastair Cook leaves his options open for England's XI in the second Test

"Darren has been outstanding in galvanising us and at bringing up together and we showed everyone that at Nottingham."
Michael Clarke, swats away any suggestions of divisions in the Australian camp

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cric_J on July 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    So, after a remarkable contest at Trent Bridge which every inch lived up to the hype an excitement associated with an Ashes opener, we move on to the home of cricket.

    I am expecting England to do well based on their recent outings here, especially the batting unit. All of them have much better avgs at Lord's than at Trent Bridge with the top 7 (and Broady too) averaging well over 40.They were pretty poor with the bat in the first innings at Trent Bridge. And since Lord's is a much better batting surface, they must get atleast 330 if batting first.

    Broady and Jimmy have been terrific here and I've finally made up my mind that England should go for Finn. His record here is impressive with 4 four-fors and 1 five-for and it's his home ground too. Most importantly, the pitch should offer much more bounce and pace which should really help Finny.And Swanny just CANNOT be as poor again.

    For Aus, Khwaja comes in for Cowan.Their bowlers need to hold their nerves, the top 6 need to score more.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    @andrew-schulz the complaint about Agar's stumping was an identical decision in the Champions Trophy final went the other way. And several Australian fans have commented that Agar was almost certainly out.

    Not sure how you can call the Broad decision the worst in Test history either. Guess you didn't see Clarke smash the ball onto his thigh pad, caught by Cook at short-leg and given not out by Tony Hill in Adelaide? The only difference? England still had a review, reviewed it, and it was given out. Still wouldn't call that the worst either.

    People seem to have been conned by the massive deflection off Haddin's gloves, so they think it was a huge edge with a big deflection to slip. It wasn't, Broad edged it onto Haddin's gloves, it was actually a very fine edge. There was still, imho, enough deviation even before the ball hit the gloves to see the edge, but it's been made to look more obvious than it was by that deflection off Haddin's gloves.

  • Shaggy076 on July 18, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Let's hope that Khawaja takes this lucky break and delivers something. His form is average had opportunities before and India time to show if you can cope at this level and that means performing straight away because Warner is currently getting a chance to push his case as well.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @Jono Makim actually, Tino Best is probably the worst piece of evidence you could use. Neither Broad nor Anderson played in that match. However, a much better stat is that in recent Tests Australia's last four wickets have put on, in reverse order:

    70, 133, 100, 164, 20, 20, 110, 76 in India

    124, 118, 47, 56 against South Africa

    Meanwhile, the last four wickets in recent Tests matches against England have put on, in reverse order:

    66, 92, 39, 30 by New Zealand in England

    70, 65, 134 by New Zealand in New Zealand

    38, 125, 86, 50, 158, 75 by India in India

    So the idea that Australia "can't" keep getting runs from their bowlers against us is ridiculous. I'm sure you'll be wanting runs from the top order too, I'm not sure many sides win too many Tests where the lower order has to keep getting the runs, but it would be foolish to write off Australia based on the fact their bowlers scored most of their runs at Trent Bridge.

  • on July 18, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    I think Bresnan for Finn is a mistake. Finn's record at Lord's, his home ground, is impressive. Bresnan on the other hand has not performed well since his injury. His batting, which might be considered to give him the edge, has also fallen off.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @mcheckley (post on July 18, 2013, 8:04 GMT): Yup, very tough choice. But I disagree with you (and selectors) that the ultimate decision should be made based on batting. 20 wickets wins the match, therefore the chance should ALWAYS be given to the bowler most likely to feature amongst the bowling performance - be that wickets or good support at an end, especially when England are dead-set on 6-1-4 formations. At Lords, the nod should go towards Finn; on a lot of other grounds I'd be screaming for Bresnan.

  • Jayzuz on July 18, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Lots of parochial stuff here from English supporters. I see nothing to vindicate the air of arrogant superiority this article presents. Winter and these supporters are still following a script that is 3 years old, and refuse to acknowledge the reality of things as they stand today. These will be close and hard fought games by two evenly matched teams. Australia will take the series in Australia, I predict.

  • CurlyGibson on July 18, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    I think "largely outplayed Australia" is pretty generous, if not parochial. They won by 15 runs - DRS issues aside. They were outplayed in the first innings by quite a margin and in both innings couldn't finish the job, with No. 11s running riot. I think Australia are stronger without Cowan, and much more confident. Australia will level a very close series at Lords.

  • CurlyGibson on July 18, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    I really don't understand these predictions of a huge England win - with their "if not for two big last-wicket partnerships...". The facts are: England were outplayed in the 1st Test first innings by quite a way, and they outplayed Australia in the second dig by slightly more. What position certain players were batting is not relevant. As anyone who watched the match knows - Ashton Agar is not a No.11. So the players count - not their positions. More facts: a real number 11 with a batting partner nearly stole the game in the second innings. That means that England couldn't get them out. It will be a nail biter of a series - and every Test will fluctuate. That's what Ashes is so great!!

  • Potatis on July 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    My best wishes go to Harris, I hope he bowls very well. I would have much preferred Bird, but anyway Harris is worthy and maybe Harris might have a rest next game.

  • cric_J on July 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    So, after a remarkable contest at Trent Bridge which every inch lived up to the hype an excitement associated with an Ashes opener, we move on to the home of cricket.

    I am expecting England to do well based on their recent outings here, especially the batting unit. All of them have much better avgs at Lord's than at Trent Bridge with the top 7 (and Broady too) averaging well over 40.They were pretty poor with the bat in the first innings at Trent Bridge. And since Lord's is a much better batting surface, they must get atleast 330 if batting first.

    Broady and Jimmy have been terrific here and I've finally made up my mind that England should go for Finn. His record here is impressive with 4 four-fors and 1 five-for and it's his home ground too. Most importantly, the pitch should offer much more bounce and pace which should really help Finny.And Swanny just CANNOT be as poor again.

    For Aus, Khwaja comes in for Cowan.Their bowlers need to hold their nerves, the top 6 need to score more.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    @andrew-schulz the complaint about Agar's stumping was an identical decision in the Champions Trophy final went the other way. And several Australian fans have commented that Agar was almost certainly out.

    Not sure how you can call the Broad decision the worst in Test history either. Guess you didn't see Clarke smash the ball onto his thigh pad, caught by Cook at short-leg and given not out by Tony Hill in Adelaide? The only difference? England still had a review, reviewed it, and it was given out. Still wouldn't call that the worst either.

    People seem to have been conned by the massive deflection off Haddin's gloves, so they think it was a huge edge with a big deflection to slip. It wasn't, Broad edged it onto Haddin's gloves, it was actually a very fine edge. There was still, imho, enough deviation even before the ball hit the gloves to see the edge, but it's been made to look more obvious than it was by that deflection off Haddin's gloves.

  • Shaggy076 on July 18, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Let's hope that Khawaja takes this lucky break and delivers something. His form is average had opportunities before and India time to show if you can cope at this level and that means performing straight away because Warner is currently getting a chance to push his case as well.

  • H_Z_O on July 18, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @Jono Makim actually, Tino Best is probably the worst piece of evidence you could use. Neither Broad nor Anderson played in that match. However, a much better stat is that in recent Tests Australia's last four wickets have put on, in reverse order:

    70, 133, 100, 164, 20, 20, 110, 76 in India

    124, 118, 47, 56 against South Africa

    Meanwhile, the last four wickets in recent Tests matches against England have put on, in reverse order:

    66, 92, 39, 30 by New Zealand in England

    70, 65, 134 by New Zealand in New Zealand

    38, 125, 86, 50, 158, 75 by India in India

    So the idea that Australia "can't" keep getting runs from their bowlers against us is ridiculous. I'm sure you'll be wanting runs from the top order too, I'm not sure many sides win too many Tests where the lower order has to keep getting the runs, but it would be foolish to write off Australia based on the fact their bowlers scored most of their runs at Trent Bridge.

  • on July 18, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    I think Bresnan for Finn is a mistake. Finn's record at Lord's, his home ground, is impressive. Bresnan on the other hand has not performed well since his injury. His batting, which might be considered to give him the edge, has also fallen off.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 18, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @mcheckley (post on July 18, 2013, 8:04 GMT): Yup, very tough choice. But I disagree with you (and selectors) that the ultimate decision should be made based on batting. 20 wickets wins the match, therefore the chance should ALWAYS be given to the bowler most likely to feature amongst the bowling performance - be that wickets or good support at an end, especially when England are dead-set on 6-1-4 formations. At Lords, the nod should go towards Finn; on a lot of other grounds I'd be screaming for Bresnan.

  • Jayzuz on July 18, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Lots of parochial stuff here from English supporters. I see nothing to vindicate the air of arrogant superiority this article presents. Winter and these supporters are still following a script that is 3 years old, and refuse to acknowledge the reality of things as they stand today. These will be close and hard fought games by two evenly matched teams. Australia will take the series in Australia, I predict.

  • CurlyGibson on July 18, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    I think "largely outplayed Australia" is pretty generous, if not parochial. They won by 15 runs - DRS issues aside. They were outplayed in the first innings by quite a margin and in both innings couldn't finish the job, with No. 11s running riot. I think Australia are stronger without Cowan, and much more confident. Australia will level a very close series at Lords.

  • CurlyGibson on July 18, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    I really don't understand these predictions of a huge England win - with their "if not for two big last-wicket partnerships...". The facts are: England were outplayed in the 1st Test first innings by quite a way, and they outplayed Australia in the second dig by slightly more. What position certain players were batting is not relevant. As anyone who watched the match knows - Ashton Agar is not a No.11. So the players count - not their positions. More facts: a real number 11 with a batting partner nearly stole the game in the second innings. That means that England couldn't get them out. It will be a nail biter of a series - and every Test will fluctuate. That's what Ashes is so great!!

  • Potatis on July 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    My best wishes go to Harris, I hope he bowls very well. I would have much preferred Bird, but anyway Harris is worthy and maybe Harris might have a rest next game.

  • Rooboy on July 18, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Good comment Andrew-schulz. What relevance is the Agar non stumping, and yet no mention of the decision which decided the match in england's favour. I would think that getting close with the top order averaging 28 is a good sign, does the author really think they'll average less this match?! We've replaced a walking wicket with Khawaja, who should be as hungry for runs as one can be. Ahh what's the point. Even when Aus win it will still just be written off as luck. Although who cares. I'll be happy when Aus are 'lucky' holders of the Ashes in less than 12 months. Bring it on

  • ozwriter on July 18, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    I hope young Usman is given more opportunity this time around. The way they've treated the kid is a disgrace. In his 11 Test innings he was top score once, second top score once, third top score twice, fourth top score once, and not out twice. He out scored Hughes six times, Hussey and Haddin five times, and Ponting four times. He has been a neglected resource for Australian cricket.

  • on July 18, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    shane watson should only be used for one day internationals and t20. Dont waste his energy by playing test matches. As of now he has never plaed a major role in test match for the Australia. I dont know why Mitchell Starc is given chance to play for the test match instead of Ryan Harris who is more experienced.

  • mcheckley on July 18, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Finn - Bresnan - Finn - Bresnan .... it's difficult, isn't it? Too close to call. Each has his own attributes and weaknesses. As England's third seamer. each brings a different set of bottles to the party. Very hard to split them. So - when it is absolutely neck-and-neck between two bowlers, what do you do - of course, you look at their batting. Does either bring anything meaningful to the batting lineup ? Oh dear, sorry Steve - no contest ! Bresnan plays.

  • on July 18, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    ya sure this is england but we have to remember astralion also

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    The trouble with back-to-back series is that the value of the first series is somewhat undermined. Even if England were to win at home 5-0 (unlikely) but then lost away to Australia with home advantage by no more than a single test, it will be Australia who will have the bragging rights - and the Ashes.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 18, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Could be a tight game, and with the lovely weather here in london I dont know how to call this game as Lords tends to be an excellent batting wicket when the sun is out.

    The Australian bowlers may struggle to get accostomed to the slope.

    In regards the Toss another difficult decision, do you put Aus in and try and run through them or do you bat and try and give your bowlers another day of rest.

    If winning the toss I think the only decsion is Bat first as its what the opposition will want to do.

  • andrew-schulz on July 18, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    It appears the English are getting anxious and irrational. How can you make a big issue of the Agar decision when there was nothing wrong with it, and theBroad decision was one of the worst in the history of Test cricket? And if Haddin or Pattinson had been dismissed before adding a run, the resultant 79-run margin would not have been a 'crushing win'. Nobody who knows the game could say otherwise.

  • First_Drop on July 18, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I'm confused by more talk of 5-0. IMHO, the Aussies have whipped up a bit of steam behind them - unfairly maligned before the series started, they came close to beating England despite the abject failure of their entire top order in the first innings. One might also ask what might have hapened had they won the toss and enjoyed more favourable batting conditons, utilised so well by Bell, on Day 3? Despuite a victory, doubt has been planted in the mind of the English batsmen - they now know that this Aussie attack is talented and certainly 'up for it'. So to, the ausie batsmen, having seen some success against the English bowlers in the 2nd innings, know they too can succeed. It's all to play for - lets hope its another cracker.

  • 5wombats on July 18, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    @ JG2704 (July 18, 2013, 7:18 GMT) - mate - there was a big difference in the performances of the two teams at Trent Bridge. Australia got close because of Australianism, a dodgy stumping call and an innings that was so remarkable that nothing like it in the 140 year history of Test cricket has ever happened (some might call it a fluke - I'll just call it statistically highly improbable...). If England win the toss today I predict it will be a long hard Test for Australia. What a great game that first one was though!

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    Australia just needs to make sure that their middle order batsmen are performing well. I want phil Hughes to batting at no. 3 and steve smith at 6.

  • Big-Dog on July 18, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Cowan probably has to go however it has to be said that Khawaja's record on tour has been less than impressive. Harris will probably get a start although i think Bird's style is probably better suited to a flat deck.

  • KK4Cricket on July 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I hope Aussies will go with same 11 as in Trentbridge. Cowan will be hard to remove once he gets in.

  • shouvicic on July 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    How much ever people try to bring a forceful faith in the Australian team, there is really a feeble chance of existence of Australia in this ASHES. The England team is lot more promising than the current opponent and have been lot more consistent in the last couple of years. All credits to Strauss.1st test performance by the Australians were unexpected but if taken a closer look, it all happened because of few surprise performance which doesn't happen every time. The regular and experience player like Watson and Clarke needs to come into the groove to drive Australia out of this abyss. Clarke's outrageous performance in test cricket in the last 1 year, now seems to be slowing down in a fast pace. But England by all means(bowling or batting) will always float above the rivals. And to conclude, my bets on England will stay by all means. Hope to see lesser contradiction in DRS and a more spirited, sporty game.

  • willy_upper on July 18, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    I'm a little dispointed that Jackson Bird is unlikely to get an opportunity at Lord's. The conditions suit his bowling and he offers some much needed control

  • chadster on July 18, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    England needs to kep finn in the team, and Aus needs to keep starc in, both teams should remain unchanged. however, Aus needs to know that the narrow defeat they had against Eng will not happen again, Eng, esp cook will not tollerate such performances from the playas, so AUS should expect top performances from ENG. its a unfortunate fact that CLARKE is the lone ranger wen it comes to the batting in the AUS team. he has no backup like COOK has with TROTT, PETERSEN or BELL...AUS batsmen needs to step up.

    As for the bowling, comparing ENG bowlers with AUS bowlers, ENG bowlers are more consistant and have better wicket taking abilities than the AUS bowlers.....another thing the AUS team needs to work on.

    Goin into this the AUS team are clearly the underdogs, but DO NOT COUNT THEM OUT TO SOON. on the day CLARKE, WATSON and the rest can step up. Coming from someone who despises the AUSSIES, i hope they win, i hope AGAR perfrms both with bat and ball, would like to c him on winning team

  • JG2704 on July 18, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    I think much will depend on how much each side will take out of the last game.

    Eng could feel lifted in that they won the game which looked like it was going Autralia's way but also how much has it taken out of our lynchpin?

    Australia could feel lifted in that they got so close after looking totally out of it and on several occasions turned the momentum of the game but they could also feel a little deflated in that with 14 runs required and 2 set batsmen (albeit one a number 11) they did all that hard work to get so close only to have it snatched from them.

  • AjitJaiswal on July 18, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    ENG can be over confident now :)

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    cowan deserves no chance instead khwaja should play.

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Hughes to step at number 4,clerk should bat at 3

  • ravi_hari on July 18, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Aussies best chance to draw level. Lord's has been their favourite venue over the years and if they have a chance to redeem themselves its here. If Aussies lose at Lords. then a 5-0 is on the cards for England. The first test was lost by Clarke rather than Aussies. His batting and usage of DRS have costed Aussies the first test. The onus is on Clarke now to make amends. For the first time in his captaincy career Clarke is under pressure. He needs to deliver to revive Aussies chances in the series. It is definitely important that other 10 also need to rally around the captain, but the impact of Clarke's performance and leadership overshadows everything. Also, apart from Clarke no one else played much at Lord's. So his task is even more cut out as he needs to guide the others so that they combine to dethrone England. On their part, England will be wary of Aussie record at Lords. Though they won the first test, they will consider themselves lucky at it. Will they wilt under pressure?

  • AJS007 on July 18, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    IInd TEST SCORECARD: Eng 154 all out, G.Swan 101 n.o. J.Anderson 42, P.Siddle 9/54, J.Pattinson 1/83, Aus 153/9 declared A.Agar 137 n.o. J.Root 6/66, S.Finn 4/44, Eng 99 all out, G.Swan 83 n.o. J.Pattinson 9/55, A.Agar 1/33, Aus 105/0 in 8 overs S.Watsan 100 n.o. C.Rogers 4 n.o.

  • TomPrice on July 18, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    So the plan to target Cook's supposed weakness against left armers seems to have been abandoned pretty early. But Harris is quality, he will put in a shift.

  • vsroc on July 18, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (July 18,2013). After winning the first test by England in the Ashes series,it is going to be another battle with the bat and ball which will be enjoyable to witness live.

  • on July 18, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Aussie has advantage of nothing to lose ,, they dont have headache of picking or dropping any players like England. Broad needs to show something with ball,, England not sure for Finn,,,Swann is not bowling his best,,,middle order for England is fragile,,, Cook looks helpless and un inspiring skipper,,,,,

  • on July 18, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    the aussie teams announced with harris replacing starc for this fast outswing & control & Cowan maybe out forever replaced by Khwaja . This is the chance for Usman to show his mettle while the biggest test for Pup to show he can set an example from the front . The oz pace attack has quality to restrict the poms to around 300 , up to the batters to lead from top to middle & not the reverse. Worried for Rhino with his injury record.

  • hmmmmm... on July 18, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Seems The Age is reporting that uzzie and harris are in for cowan and starc....good move! Not often CricInfo is pipped for breaking cricket news, so is it true?

  • Shaggy076 on July 18, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Looking forward to another great game. Usually you prefer to win the toss and get out there and bat. Think the author is hinting day 2 and 3 are probably going to be the best for batting - which makes the toss not such an important prospect. I think what we have here are two very good bowling line up with England having a heavier reliance on there two stars where as Australias is more even, each side has one star batsman. England do have the better 2nd and 3rd bat (talent wise) not position. This is where Englands advantage is over Australia. For Australia Watson and Hughes need to close the gap on Pietersen and Trott. Anyway reckon we are in for another cracker.

  • trav29 on July 18, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    @calcu are you seriously comparing a 5 run win in a t20 to a series win over 4 tests ? talk about grasping at straws.

  • bobpeecee on July 18, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    I'm going to be framing the form guide: LLLLL line from this column. Never thought I would see that against Australia.

    wow

  • izzidole on July 18, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    I think Cowan and Starc should be dropped for this test and should be replaced by David Warner if available to play or Usman Khawaja and Starc should make way for Harris or Bird. Starc's bowling is wayward and reminds me of Mitchell Johnson. He doesn't seem to make the batsman play every ball and as a result doesn't worry the batsman at all. He keeps bowling outside the stumps continuesly hoping that the batsman makes a mistake without any strategy and the ball passes by harmlessly most of the time while the batsman waits for the loose balls to dispatch to the boundary. The only time he looks very dangerous is when he bowls yorkers which he hardly bowls for some reason.

  • spot_on on July 18, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Would like to see the Poms up against the current Indian line-up which is without the old timers who accounted for their 4-0 drubbing.. C'mon OZ bring back those long faces of Cook and Co which we witnessed in the CT'13 final !!! Show some fighting intent and Character. If it's a shiny day in England the pitch is gonna behave flat... The English bowlers are no good than Bangla bowlers if the conditions don't support them!!! Bring back Bird (if possible, McGrath too)

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    @SaracensBob on (July 18, 2013, 0:17 GMT), if Trent Bridge is anything to go by, if Finn can clean up the Australian tail quickly and cheaply the England should romp home.

  • Rowayton on July 18, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    I like Buckers97's comment that Watson looked good until he got out. Mate, Watson always looks good until he gets out. Unfortunately he keeps getting out. Trying to hit the first ball after drinks through midwicket - sheesh! I am still thinking that one day Watson will get a big hundred and when he does woe betide the other side because he will probably score a heap for the next few games. However I have been expecting him to do this for some years and he hasn't yet so I'm starting to think I'm deluded. And for those saying Agar didn't bowl very well - he got two, then got Broad which was not given. Had he got Broad then with only 9,10, 11 to come he could have finished with a few. His second innings bowling compared favourably to Swann's - not matchwinning, but a good first test.

  • calcu on July 18, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    @mshyder And what about the trashing IND gave ENG in the CT final?

  • on July 18, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    It is always foolish to write off the Aussies in any games because of their tremendous fighting qualities. As far as Lords is concerned they always get some extra energy to do something special! England obviously is a well balanced and experienced test team but I personally feel that they are over rated and I am sure this young Australia under Michael Clarke's aggressive leadership will retain the Ashes ! I wish David Warner was in the playing eleven at Lords! All the best to the Aussies!

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 18, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Hi....I think Khawaja and Birds /Faulkner should be called in ,Faulkner can give some batting strength and bowling too but birds is a batter option than Harris,so Ryan should not be tought even...Aus can perform good to win this match because last test shows the weakness of ENG and how Aus played even without being favourite.....so le' s see good cricket

  • Hammond on July 18, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    @Marcio- how quickly you forget the literal line call that allowed Agar to keep batting in Australia's first innings. Good luck in this test, even if Australia breaks all time test records they still can't beat England.

  • Hammond on July 18, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter- surely that is the most indicative comment of why we will lose this test, the fact that you are advocating a bloke who had only played 10 first class matches before the last test, and averaged in the 20's to bat at number 6 for Australia, a position previously held by people like Gilchrist. Are we truly that short of talent?

  • cricket_ahan on July 18, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    The closeness of the first test was exaggerated by Agar's uncharacteristic innings, England's uncharacteristic first innings collapse, and some undisciplined bowling from Steven Finn. Based on Eng's test form over the last 18 months though, they are not likely to make their mistakes again. Finn will likely be dropped, or even if he isn't his record at Lords is impeccable, and the Eng top order now knows what to expect from the Aussie attack. Australia have maintained their top-order batting woes (hardly a shred of improvement in what now seems like an eternity), and are now behind in the series. Personally I think their bowling attack should remain unchanged. Starc was a lil wayward in TB, but he is a genuine wicket-taker and should be trusted to develop. Batting wise, Cowan needs to go, Khawaja in, a solid opening partnership, and a Clarke ton. Click those into gear and Aus has a chance, cos Eng will be harder to beat in this test.

  • jonesy2 on July 18, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    England have no right to win this test. look at their bowling. not one of englands bowlers bar maybe swann would get into australias side. Jackson bird and ryan harris are many classes better than englands best bowler Anderson and they cant even crack a game. starc by all rights should annihilate englands stodgy batsmen if he plays. id keep the same bowling or maybe pick bird who would guarantee to re-ignite doom memories from englands batsmen of glenn McGrath. love that usman comes in, could watch him bat all day long and I hope I do. wonderful player. series should be levelled.

  • sensation on July 18, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    2 changes in aus team for 2nd test at lords.. cowan and starc dropped.. khwaja and harris in..

  • venkatesh018 on July 18, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    My Aussie XI For Lords: Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Agar/Hughes, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon, Bird. Clarke shouldn't even think of dropping Nathan Lyon again.

  • valvolux on July 18, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    So word from Australia is that its Khawaja and Harris in - I cant help but feel that weve missed a trick leaving out Bird, who would dominate at Lords. I understand hes had a decent amount of time off cricket (Harris has had more) and had some spells during the warmups where he was uncharactieristically expensive - but this is our conly hance Australia. How we would give to go back to 2009 and play Clark at Lords instead of Johnson. I do like Harris though and am glad we arent risking the risky Starc - but Bird had Ashes written all over him (paticualrly the english leg) when we first saw him at international level and I feel that if he misses out here we wont get a chance to see him in England. McGrath destroyed England every time, Stuart Clark detroyed England every time - here we have Bird, in EXACTLY the same mould....and we arent giving him a game. He is our game changer in this series, not Agar. We need to have him playing before the series is over.

  • mshyder on July 18, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    @ t20-2007. Wonder why India would like to play England after the trashing they got in England as well as their own back yard.

  • t20-2007 on July 18, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    I want to have one Ind -Eng teast...n love to have it in England itself

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    "Finn is the only tall quick in their squad". Not sure whether Alex is saying that Broad is not tall or not quick but he is 6'5" and bowled mid to high 80s in Trent Bridge.

  • funkybluesman on July 18, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    It's definitely not going to happen now, with Warner being sent away, and Rogers has only had one test on return to the team, but I'd love to see the top six of the batting lineup something more like this: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith

    There's been so many people calling for Clarke to bat up higher. Most of them people who hate him for some reason and want to see him fail. He's one of the top middle-order batsmen in the world, and so many of the other batsmen are specialist top-order batsmen. So let them bat there.

    One way or another, Rogers won't be around all that long, so we way end up with this sort of batting lineup sooner rather than later anyway.

  • mysay on July 18, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Somebody needs to educate Clark on what to look for when using the DRS and to be smart in using it. Having had one for Broad would have made quite a difference. Still with Aussie's current batting line up, pulling out a win at Lords....Hog Wash mate.

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

    I know that they won't do it, but I'd like to see them play Ashton Agar as a batting all-rounder, batting at 6. His batting in the first test was good but his bowling was not. That means Agar coming in for Ed Cowan, retaining Mitchell Starc and then playing either Jackson Bird or James Faulkner as a 5th bowling option. I'd rather James Faulkner as he is in magnificent form, but wouldn't mind Bird either. Given that Starc had the 2nd best returns for the match after Siddle, I think it is a bit harsh to dump him, especially as a left armer would be very useful against England.

  • Marcio on July 18, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    @Gautam N. Shenoy hate to tell you this but the British Empire is dead. Shrill cries of superiority are not going to help anyone's cause. Agar's innings wasn't a "fluke" - he's a decent batsman. How many line-ball calls went England's way on the last 3 days? If any one of those had gone the other way, Australia would now be one-up in the series. Please have a little respect for the opposition and its supporters. Without Australia you would not have witnessed the great game most of the rest of us really appreciated. As for "lack of talent" in the Australian team, one thing that is now clear is that English commentators, media and many supporters are 3 years out of date in their assessment of players like Hughes, Smith and Siddle. Then all of Pattinson, Starc, Clarke, Rogers and Watson etc can be match-winners. I'd be careful with my hasty denunciations if I were you. They might come back to bite you on the bum.

  • on July 18, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    Interesting to see the Aus selectors continuing to stubbornly ignore Simon Katich's form for Lancashire this season. 874 runs at an average of 72.83 (including a ton and a double ton in his last two matches) is still not enough to be recalled to the test team, with sub-standard batsmen such as Cowan and Watson being preferred. As for Starc, I would replace him with Harris, and if Agar fails, recall Lyon for the 3rd test.

  • Lmaotsetung on July 18, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    The first test pretty much gone to script. I expected England to struggle as they always do in the first innings of any test series. It's now part of who these bunch are as a team and as an England fan I've come to accept that. I would be very surprised if the batsmen keep struggling throughout the series. We know KP will win a test match single handedly and every subcontinent fans will ohhhhh...ahhhh sayin how great he is blah blah blah, Trott will at some point anchor an inning or 2 and Cook will score his 1 or 2 centuries and Bell already did his thing so he can be forgiven if he disappear the rest of the series which I doubt he will. There are no Amla, Smith, AB, Kallis in this Aus squad so no matter how off the Eng bowlers might be, I can't see Aus put on a massive score and put Eng under pressure batting wise. Aus might win a session here a session there but at the end of the day England will show their superiority be it at the end of 5 days or at the end of 5 test matches

  • mshyder on July 18, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    England can make whatever change they want to but should have Bairstow in the side as he was the one who walked when he snicked. We need such honest gentlemen in the game.

  • jmcilhinney on July 18, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    If ever there was a toss for England to win, this is it. It may have a significant impact on not only this game but the entire series. If England win the toss and bat then James Anderson should get an extra day's rest. Despite his fitness and all, that can only be a good thing. If England have to bowl first and he's not 100% after his heroics in game 1 then the risk of injury is much higher. England are quite as dependent on him as some would have us believe but there's no doubt that he's their most important bowler. Keeping him injury free is critical.

  • funkybluesman on July 18, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    Everybody looks at a spin bowler in his first match, says he doesn't have much and will become another on the scrap heap since Shane Warne. For goodness sake people, Shane Warne went for 1/150 in his first test and after 12 months still averaged almost 50, with most of his wickets in a single good innings against the WI. Then he had a decent series against New Zealand, came to England, bowled the ball of the century and the rest is history.

    I'm not claiming Ashton Agar is close to the same quality of Shane Warne with the ball, but just saying that if even the great Shane Warne can look innocuous and go for 1/150 in his first test, then we really have to cut these other young spinners a bit of slack and let them also work into their career as Warne did.

    Ashton Agar actually looks to have a fair bit about him. He has good control, gives the ball a real rip and is quite intelligent. There is plenty of raw material to build on there!

  • arif_cric on July 18, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    cant wait for match to start.... expecting a 5-0.... if england won at lords thn definatly it will be 5-0... come on england it is the time to take all time revenge...

  • hmmmmm... on July 18, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Alex, surely the Ashes we are playing for are still "The Ashes" not "The Investec Ashes"? This is just a promotional title for the series, in Australia it will be Commonwealth Bank Ashes...

  • SaracensBob on July 18, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    On Steven Finn - he remains a great prospect but don't be taken in by his impressive figures for they flatter to deceive. His waywardness and tendency to pitch the ball too short make him cannon-fodder for top order batsmen. His fine test match figures are a result of cleaning up tail-enders, who can't live with his pace and bounce, quickly and cheaply. His opening spell in Aus's 1st inns at TB was awesome but he does not bowl to this standard against the cream of the opposition often enough. If he is to play at Lord's then Eng should include an extra bowling option - Bresnan in my view as his ability with the bat will also strengthen what appeared at TB to be a rather weak tail. This would upset things as Bairstow would have to be dropped. I'd upset it further by taking opening duties away from young Joe. So my England XI for today is: Cook, Trott, Bell, KP, Root, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson. I think they'll go with the team at TB! Good luck boys!

  • Buckers97 on July 18, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    If I was Darren Lehman, I would go with this side; 1.Watson, he looked very good in the second dig before he got out. 2.Rogers 3.Khawaja, give the guy a chance. 4.Smith, batted really well in first innings and second innings, just didn't go on with his start in the second innings. 5.Clarke (c), belongs at 5. 6.Hughes 7.Haddin (vc,wk) 8.Siddle 9.Agar 10.Pattinson 11.Bird/Harris, either of these two could really do some damage to England's top order. And if I was Andy Flower, I would go with this side; 1.Cook (c) 2.Root 3.Trott 4.Pietersen 5.Bell 6.Prior (wk,vc) 7.Broad 8.Bresnan 9.Swann 10.Finn 11.Anderson

  • dunger.bob on July 18, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    Yeah, yeah. It's all Elite England and the Aweful Aussies. Game over, England win comfortably.

    All the indicators are saying that will be the case, and who am I to argue against the indicators. We are heavily out-gunned in all departments .. England probably will win.

    I can accept defeat, even by England, on one condition. As long as our boys show some signs of getting absolutely sick to death of playing second fiddle to every team they meet. I want them to get angry. Not Warner style angry of course, that's not on. Border, Waugh style anger is what I'm talking about. That seething, ever present desire to grind the bones of your opponent into powder. The attitude that no matter how bad things look, there is a way to win from here and this is how you do it. Angry in the sense that they get 110% determined to defend grimly when needed an attack fearlessly when that's appropriate. ... If they can do that and still get beaten then so be it. .. I won't be happy but I can cop it.

  • Eyepop on July 17, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    My tip is Rodgers to make a ton...

  • OneEyedAussie on July 17, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    The forecast is saying a lot of sunshine, so my guess is that the game will most likely go to five days. Like most pundits, I'd love to see Cowan and Starc make way for Khawaja and Bird.

  • left_arm_unorthodox on July 17, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    Batter's wicket. Cook to make about 10000 runs, Australia to scrape out a draw.

  • on July 17, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    @gautam n.shenoy I completely disagree with u. australia were not at best but we were very close to winning first test match. Australia's batsmen will get better in upcoming matches. bowling wise Australia proved that they can bowl out England and pick 20 wickets. I expect Michael Clarke to score big runs. rogers, hughes and smith played very well and will only get better. Watson and khawaja need to prove themselves. haddin and agar showed they can bat down the order. I expect Jackson bird to replace starc and pattinson and siddle could destroy England top order.

  • on July 17, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    Australia have more confedent then England in 2nd test

  • on July 17, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    The calls for George Baileys selection are again based on his ODI stats. In first class cricket his average is 35...not worthy of a test specialist batsman. Let Agar bat #9 at the highest, his role is a spin bowler and doesnt need the distraction of batting higher up the order.

  • Moppa on July 17, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    @landl47, Lords a tough ground for first-timers? Er... Massie? McGrath? @Gautam N. Shenoy... tell us what you really think mate, don't hold back!

  • brittop on July 17, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    @Jono Makim: Who won at Trent Bridge?

  • josphe on July 17, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    I would definitely go with Finn instead of bresnan, as bresnan hasn't looked anything like the player he was a couple of years ago and one bad game shouldn't get him dropped. Also i don't think Starc should be dropped either, he bowled reasonably well in the last game and offers a bit of variety in the attack. Although it was good to see agar getting some useful runs we need not forget that his primary role in the team is as a bowler and to me he doesn't look all that threatening. Maybe with some more experience he might look the part. But if he continues scoring runs and not being too effective as a bowler, Australia will have an interesting dilemma on their hands.

  • tony122 on July 17, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    @Gautam- That is hilarious.

  • on July 17, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    Looking at the talent (lack thereof) in the Australian team, it was easy for any team to get complacent. That is what happened to England in the first test. Though Australia were outclassed for the majority of the test, a freak 10th wicket partnership (or two?) meant the margin of loss flattered them quite a bit. England always come in top gear after the first test, so one can expect a crushing defeat for Aussies this time. Hughes has already made his 80 which means he will not score another fifty this series. Khawaja is low on confidence, although he is more solid than most other people in the team including Steve "can't bat can't bowl get me out of here" Smith and Watson is keen to prove he is not a test batsman. As for Agar, one fluke innings can only get you so far. He is in the team as a bowler and looked quite innocuous. Unless he gets a bagful, he will be another addition to the ever growing list of rubbish OZ spinners before and after Warne (bar McGill).

  • landl47 on July 17, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    A couple of things that most people seem to have missed. First, in Australia's second innings at Nottingham, Anderson only took one of Aus's first 6 wickets. Broad got 2 (and bowled very well), Swann got 2 and Root got Cowan- a part-time bowler getting a #3, hmmmmm. Anderson mopped up the tail with a great display on the last day, but the head was cut off by the others. England did NOT rely solely on Anderson.

    Second, Lord's is a tough ground for first-timers, especially bowlers. The slope requires adjustments to be made. I would expect to see Starc and Agar, if they are picked, struggle here with line and length. So might Bird, and if his line and length are off, he's got nothing.

    England will have a plan this time for Agar the batsman. Swann will likely bowl better- TB is his worst ground, even though it's his home. Finn knows the ground and bowls well here, but Bresnan hasn't had much success.

    I expect Eng to be unchanged and for this to be a very tough game for Aus to win.

  • Westmorlandia on July 17, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    @usernames - I don't see how the England bowling is "weak"? Anderson and Swann are class. Broad was very reliable at Trent Bridge and can be explosive at other times - he usually bags a hatful of wickets once a series or so. Finn had a bad couple of spells at Trent Bridge, and it certainly wasn't his best match overall, but he was still involved in reducing Australia to 117-9. Hard to say the attack is weak in those circumstances.

    The England attack felt stronger a year or two ago, but it's still strong. It will probably show more as the series goes on.

  • Biggus on July 17, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Here we go again, cry "Havoc" and let loose the dogs of war, or at least of spirited cricket. No doubt the Poms are favourites and our Aussie top order has some improving to do but those smart English posters know to underestimate us at their peril. I don't expect us to win this series but I do expect us to at least cause the opposition some trepidation, and whilst I may be mistaken I sense improvement in this side. I don't bear Mickey Arthur any ill will but whatever his merits or otherwise as a coach it seems he wasn't the right man for the job at that point in time, and I'm all in favour of Boof wading in and cracking a few heads together, figuratively speaking, Aussie style. He's brought something intangible to the side with his appontment, and I expect us to improve slowly to the point that we can make the down under leg of the Ashes very tough for England. Unless I'm mistaken if England win this game they'll have won as many Ashes tests in England as we have, so they'll be keen.

  • usernames on July 17, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    And to be honest, I know many Australians will hate this, George Bailey needs to be in this team. A team of Watson, Rogers, Warner/Hughes, SPDS, Clarke, Bailey, Haddin, Agar/Lyon, Siddle, Starc/Harris, Pattinson/Bird can beat England any day!

  • on July 17, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    It makes me laugh, all the English fans talking about the rarity of tenth wicket partnerships. Perhaps the name Tino will jog a few of your memories? England has given up the the record for the tenth wicket p'ship twice in twelve months. Hardly a rarity then is it? I really cringe at this. You might also do well to remember that our other no.11 remained not out and going strong in the 4th innings at Trent Bridge. You guys need another bowler, or three, to go with the worlds most skilled bowler and the worlds best offspinner.

  • usernames on July 17, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Australia are making a huge mistake not including Warner in their team. I'd definitely have him, considering how weak the English bowling is nowadays. Australia should go with Watson, Rogers, Warner, Clarke, SPDS, Hughes, Haddin, Agar, Harris, Siddle, Bird. Get Pattinson, Cowan, and Starc out.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 17, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    In 2009 England won their first Lords Test against Aus since 1934,Verity's match. It became an instant favourite win for me because of this rarity. It is fairly important that we do not hand Lords back to Australia as though we just stole it for a series. Not just a public museum it is actually a home venue even if we have often performed there in a way that suggests otherwise. Therefore we must have 11 men out there all doing their hardest to tpo win and by a large margin. I would keep Finn I think because Bresnan is not gpod here and a bang in bowler should be useful, but it is up to him to justify the faith. Just how strong or week Australia are is hard to judge from last game. The acid test should begin here.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 17, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    It's a test match. A ball hasn't been bowled yet. The winning team wins more of the game than the other team. England are a long-proven champion side and beat Australia just for fun these days, and they are clearly much better. These things we know as fact, it's who plays the better cricket on the day that counts.

  • DaDaL0G on July 17, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    MY money is on Australia and England one of them gonna win the match Aussies got excellent Record at Lords and England Got Anderson hoping to see a cracker like the first test a memorable innings from Ashton Agar, Well i guess Aussies should call Ricky Ponting for the Ashes he is in Splendid form and they have to find replacement of Hussey and ponting and avoid T20 Cricket it is destroying Great Teams Like Pakistan, Australia and West Indies . Chris Gayle , Pollard , Bravo , Samuels and Narine the Gem of T20 Cricket are struggling in ODIs.. As Neutral But Big Australian Fan i want to see some men like Bevan , Ponting , Gilly , Warne, Hussey, Hayden .

    Best Of Luck Australia

  • Lmaotsetung on July 17, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    Looking at the county scores going on this week, I'm starting to think Eng might need a "containing" bowler as opposed to a wicket taking one, hence the nod goes to Bresnan.

  • strikeforce2003 on July 17, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    Team winning the toss, bats first and has the definite edge ..posting a 375 plus total..going for a win. If it's Australia winning the tiss, I guess they would win. This wicket will slow down, the team batting second facing the symphony of sorts.. With Bird and Khwaja there seems more solidity in both the batting & biwling respectively. This is a Pattison~ Siddle show and it's for Clarke~Watson to come good on a good score in either innings. This is a definite Oz win., if they get KP early. Cook could find Pattison & Siddle tough to handle. Anderson may not be as dangerous as he was at the 1st test, and would be interesting should Agar get cracking on a quick score. Oz win or a Draw seems in store..

  • Jason83 on July 17, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Lets face facts. If Anderson bowls poorly, England lose. I believe even with the aussie's dodgy batting line up if Anderson has an off day, they will struggle to take the required wickets as Broad and Finn DON'T strike the fear in the hearts of the Australian batting lineup. Swann is threatening, but has not done astonishingly well against Australia as the media would try and con you. On the other hand, Australia's bowling can only get better. Pattinson can get 50% better and Starc or Bird can go up a gear on what Starc produced last test (which was a 5 out of ten for me). The ball is in Andersons court and the Australian top six as to who wins this next test.

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

    The Trentbridge match was not incredible. Australia was always catching up on their batters lose shots and lack of farm. Only a later order re-surgence gave some impetus to autstralian batting. To accept one fact they never played up to their potential, instead some of them wasted their hard fought starts. Only Watson I felt was bit unlucky and seemed to me of the old Australian mould and when have a good day can change course of match. Rest of the batters including Clarke showed nerves in 1st test and may be well off in 2nd. Some tips to Agar 1.He should give bit more air 2. when bowling to left handers should bowl few balls straight 3. Should vary his pace 4.Not try too much turn. Fast bowling of Australia did good and seems good.

  • nlight on July 17, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Although he was wayward at times Starc looked like Australia's most difficult bowler to play when he started getting in the intended areas. He's surely the attacking option compared to Bird. I still think Warner would be a better and more aggressive choice than Khawaja.

    I think Finn will just get the nod in what will be a final appearance in the team this series if he gets taken apart again.

  • king78787 on July 17, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    @Sparta Army Ok he may have achieved what most no11's only dream of but if he goes to no6 that kind of innings goes from exceptional/one of a kind at no11 to good/very good at no6. My point is the higher up the order you go the more often big scores are expected. Can Agar produce big scores consistently? Probably not. And if he becomes a no6 he stays as a no6. He then doesn't have the option of dropping down the order as his replacement has probably established himself. The only other route then is to bowl brilliantly to keep his place. And even then it would be touch and go as to his place if big runs are required from the lower order. He is a bowler not a batsmen. If he can justify his place as a bowler THEN order switches can be thought about. Until then no8's the limit.

  • Sadiq1952 on July 17, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    England has made a good team selection but I am surprised that Bopara has been side tracked. Is Joe Root or Johnny Bairstow a better player than Bopara? I really doubt it. The records would show Bopara a bettter cricketer than other if the two.

  • MartinC on July 17, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    So in the 1st Test Australia scored a total of 576 runs of which 228 runs came from their last wicket partnerships. That's almost 40% of their total runs from the last wicket - that's not going to happen very often and without hose runs Australia would have been well beaten inside four days.

    The Aussie top 6 have to stand up and score runs or England will turn the screw.

    Lords though has been a very good wicket to bat on over recent years and one that tends to get flatter and slower as the game goes on. Unless its very dry and spins with some uneven bounce I think it might be a match with a lot of runs and very difficult to bowl a side out batting last if they are hanging on for a draw.

  • whatawicket on July 17, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    as we all know Australia were incredibly lucky to be only beaten by 14 runs. with the help of some dodgy DRS decisions and were carried by a 19 year old batting 11. who without his contribution it would have been a crushing defeat. will they get lucky again perhaps, if their top order can scrape more. but their bottom order cannot keep on getting them out of the poo. will Anderson run through them again, i expect so, as the Aussies were incredibly lucky to still be in the game on Saturday night

  • 2MikeGattings on July 17, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    England should retain Finn. He is a wicket taker and getting in a decent rhythm at his home ground could set him up for the series. Onions won't provide any greater control and Bresnan is a trundler these days.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the oppo field an unchanged side as well. If they drop Cowan and his replacement fails too, where do they go from there?

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 17, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Honestly, I think England can be beaten. They are a good team but not an extraordinary team by any stretch of imagination. England have always been a good test match side over many years. I don't buy into all that talk of how poor England were in the 90s and all that. It's just that they came up against a very good Australian unit. Even then, England managed to win 1 or 2 tests in an Ashes series. So, that is something this young Australian team can take into consideration. They have the players to upstage England and they won't find any better venue than Lords' where Australia have been good over the years. It will only set up the series well for everybody involved. It will also give neutrals such as me some entertainment when the highlights package comes by.

  • SpartaArmy on July 17, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    @king78787 : He has already achieved what most people can't (including people who are worried about him). Some might say it is fluke, all you can say about them is they have no idea about what they are talking about. It makes sense to read the 8,9,10,11 list of Lehman/clarke.

  • RandyOZ on July 17, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    As we all know England were carried by Anderson in the last test and got incredibly lucky with the umpires, hopefully it wont happen again.

  • Bockee on July 17, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    @John Verdal, I agree with your lineup and with Hughes at 3 if we're just picking from the current squad despite Khawaja not exactly being in convincing form. I hope he steps up. Incidentally, Katich scored another ton today...

    Re England, I thought Root looked particularly wobbly and as an Aussie fan I'm very glad that there's no sign of Compton.

  • Nutcutlet on July 17, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Let's fast-forward to mid-afternoon of the final day of this Test. The heat's searing, Australian. Once again, Oz is in pursuit of a possible victory, having bowled Eng out. 280 is the total required to win the game. Oz has lost 7 for 200. Haddin is at the wicket, batting with one of the bowling all-rounders. Jimmy broke open the top order, but has been bowled to the point of exhaustion & Broad is off the field with an undisclosed niggle. Swann wheels away; he has taken two of the wickets that have fallen. Cook calls up his third seamer... Who is he? If he's Finn, Cook now wonders if he offers up a prayer, will it be answered. At this point, he shares the thought that is with every cricket-lover in the country: I wonder what we're going to get this time? If, on the other hand, his eyes light on the burly Yorkshireman, he sees a bowler who'll hold his nerve & make darned sure that every run that is scored is grudged. It's said that history is a lesson hard-learned. Let's not go there!

  • RandyOZ on July 17, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    The author has it right here. Starc and Cowan out, Bird and Khawaja in

  • voma on July 17, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Bowling wise , theres very little to choose . Definetly Australia strongest asset , but England have the best individual bowler . As for the batting , England are miles ahead .I think Micheal Clarke is absolute world class , but the rest ? .Maybe Peter North has some big innings to come , i think the others will collapse under pressure .One thing for sure the Aussies wont give up and will go down fighting .

  • whoster on July 17, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    There's no doubting the Aussie fighting spirit, but the fact is that the batting was again weak, and they needed Agar to play a miraculous debut innings to avoid being blown away. Over the past couple of years, Clarke and the now-retired Hussey have carried the Aussie batting, and it's hard to see where big runs are going to come from other than Clarke. If Clarke has a moderate series with the bat, the Aussies can forget about winning the Ashes. The Aussies still lost the 1st Test despite two 10th wicket partnerships totalling 228 runs - and that stat should alarm them. The only area where Australia matched England was the pace attacks, and unless 3-4 of their main batsmen contribute consistently, they could really struggle. They nearly pulled off an incredible victory at Trent Bridge, but they won't get back in this series unless their batting scorecards lose their erratic appearance.

  • SirViv1973 on July 17, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    @King78787, At this stage of his career I don't see Agar as more than a number 8. In fact his situation may end up being a bit like Smith who primarly came in to the side as a bowler who could bat and who is now seen as a top 6 batsman & no more than a part time bowler. I said a few days ago that Agar's success in the 1st test with the bat might not be to Aus advantage over the course of the series as they probably need to stick with him now which means the only way they can get Lyon (who certainly looks a better bowler at this stage) in to the side would bat Agar at 6 or 7 instead of a specilist batsman, which is just too high for him.

  • on July 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    I think Australia should bring khawaja and bird and drop cowan and starc. my lineup will be: 1.rogers 2.watson 3.hughes 4.clarke 5.khawaja 6.smith 7.haddin 8.agar 9.siddle 10.pattinson 11.bird

  • king78787 on July 17, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    I am worried about Agar. One fluke innings and suddenly their are talks of him batting in the top 6. His batting ability is natural, he will not be able to adapt to different situations. Australia need one of the top 6 to make a hundred EVERY match. If Agar is in the top 6 it is not realistic. Bring Kajawa in for Cowan to strengthen the top order. Then Faulkner for Starc (they are very similar bowlers but Faulkner has more batting form). Bat Agar at 8, Faulkner at 9, Siddle at 10 and Pattinson at 11.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 17, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    I think England should persist with Finn for this one. My opinions about having Root opening have not changed one bit, but what's done is done.

    For Aus.: Cowan out; Bird in for Starc; I believe Clarke should stop listening to his detractors and stay down at 5 where he's best. Smith or Hughes could come up to 4 instead easily.

    For both teams: part-time bowlers like Root and KP for England, Smith and Clarke for Aus. - were very underused in first game. Why? Many times the pitch and circumstances allowed for it - it's not like the frontline bowlers were always on top...

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 17, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    I think England should persist with Finn for this one. My opinions about having Root opening have not changed one bit, but what's done is done.

    For Aus.: Cowan out; Bird in for Starc; I believe Clarke should stop listening to his detractors and stay down at 5 where he's best. Smith or Hughes could come up to 4 instead easily.

    For both teams: part-time bowlers like Root and KP for England, Smith and Clarke for Aus. - were very underused in first game. Why? Many times the pitch and circumstances allowed for it - it's not like the frontline bowlers were always on top...

  • king78787 on July 17, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    I am worried about Agar. One fluke innings and suddenly their are talks of him batting in the top 6. His batting ability is natural, he will not be able to adapt to different situations. Australia need one of the top 6 to make a hundred EVERY match. If Agar is in the top 6 it is not realistic. Bring Kajawa in for Cowan to strengthen the top order. Then Faulkner for Starc (they are very similar bowlers but Faulkner has more batting form). Bat Agar at 8, Faulkner at 9, Siddle at 10 and Pattinson at 11.

  • on July 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    I think Australia should bring khawaja and bird and drop cowan and starc. my lineup will be: 1.rogers 2.watson 3.hughes 4.clarke 5.khawaja 6.smith 7.haddin 8.agar 9.siddle 10.pattinson 11.bird

  • SirViv1973 on July 17, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    @King78787, At this stage of his career I don't see Agar as more than a number 8. In fact his situation may end up being a bit like Smith who primarly came in to the side as a bowler who could bat and who is now seen as a top 6 batsman & no more than a part time bowler. I said a few days ago that Agar's success in the 1st test with the bat might not be to Aus advantage over the course of the series as they probably need to stick with him now which means the only way they can get Lyon (who certainly looks a better bowler at this stage) in to the side would bat Agar at 6 or 7 instead of a specilist batsman, which is just too high for him.

  • whoster on July 17, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    There's no doubting the Aussie fighting spirit, but the fact is that the batting was again weak, and they needed Agar to play a miraculous debut innings to avoid being blown away. Over the past couple of years, Clarke and the now-retired Hussey have carried the Aussie batting, and it's hard to see where big runs are going to come from other than Clarke. If Clarke has a moderate series with the bat, the Aussies can forget about winning the Ashes. The Aussies still lost the 1st Test despite two 10th wicket partnerships totalling 228 runs - and that stat should alarm them. The only area where Australia matched England was the pace attacks, and unless 3-4 of their main batsmen contribute consistently, they could really struggle. They nearly pulled off an incredible victory at Trent Bridge, but they won't get back in this series unless their batting scorecards lose their erratic appearance.

  • voma on July 17, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Bowling wise , theres very little to choose . Definetly Australia strongest asset , but England have the best individual bowler . As for the batting , England are miles ahead .I think Micheal Clarke is absolute world class , but the rest ? .Maybe Peter North has some big innings to come , i think the others will collapse under pressure .One thing for sure the Aussies wont give up and will go down fighting .

  • RandyOZ on July 17, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    The author has it right here. Starc and Cowan out, Bird and Khawaja in

  • Nutcutlet on July 17, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Let's fast-forward to mid-afternoon of the final day of this Test. The heat's searing, Australian. Once again, Oz is in pursuit of a possible victory, having bowled Eng out. 280 is the total required to win the game. Oz has lost 7 for 200. Haddin is at the wicket, batting with one of the bowling all-rounders. Jimmy broke open the top order, but has been bowled to the point of exhaustion & Broad is off the field with an undisclosed niggle. Swann wheels away; he has taken two of the wickets that have fallen. Cook calls up his third seamer... Who is he? If he's Finn, Cook now wonders if he offers up a prayer, will it be answered. At this point, he shares the thought that is with every cricket-lover in the country: I wonder what we're going to get this time? If, on the other hand, his eyes light on the burly Yorkshireman, he sees a bowler who'll hold his nerve & make darned sure that every run that is scored is grudged. It's said that history is a lesson hard-learned. Let's not go there!

  • Bockee on July 17, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    @John Verdal, I agree with your lineup and with Hughes at 3 if we're just picking from the current squad despite Khawaja not exactly being in convincing form. I hope he steps up. Incidentally, Katich scored another ton today...

    Re England, I thought Root looked particularly wobbly and as an Aussie fan I'm very glad that there's no sign of Compton.

  • RandyOZ on July 17, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    As we all know England were carried by Anderson in the last test and got incredibly lucky with the umpires, hopefully it wont happen again.