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

Cowan, Starc dropped for Lord's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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