James Anderson took 10 wickets in the 1st Test at Trent Bridge. Image courtesy of news.com.au
England takes a 1-0 lead to Lord’s for the 2nd Ashes Test against Australia starting on Thursday, having scored a thrilling 14 run victory in the series opener at Trent Bridge earlier this week. Although the tourists performed above expectations and gave Alistair Cook’s men an almighty fright in Nottingham, coach Darren Lehmann is likely to consider making changes to his side in an effort to level the series.
Despite getting as close as they did to England, Australia’s brittle batting order is a big concern for coach Darren Lehmann, with last wicket partnerships of 163 and 65 contributing just under 40% of the 576 runs the team scored at Trent Bridge. While most of the batsman got starts, Ed Cowan scored collected just 13 runs from his two visits to the crease and was dismissed in both innings playing loose shots. Gritty Queensland batsman Usman Khawaja could get a chance to wear the Baggy Green for the first time since 2011, but Michael Clarke must be wishing he could call on David Warner, who has been sent to Africa with the Australia 'A' squad to get some match practice.
Ashton Agar made a sensational debut at Nottingham scoring 98 in the first innings before collecting two wickets in the second and will again be a key part of the bowling attack alongside James Pattinson and Peter Siddle , who collected 5/50 on the opening day. Mitchell Starc could find his place in the XI under threat after bowling inconsistently and could be replaced by Ryan Harris or Jackson Bird, who would provide more control.
England has retained the same 13 man squad from the series opener, with Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions in contention to place Steve Finn after the right-arm quick failed to fire in the 1st Test. The 24 year-old was expensive on the final day and allowed the tourists to get within reach of their target and could be dropped for game two, although he has taken 29 wickets at 20.65 from five Tests at his home ground.
Kevin Pietersen showed glimpses of his best form in smacking 64 in the second innings last week on his return to the Test team and will relish playing at Lord's again, where he averages in excess 61.4 and scored 202* against India two years ago.
Lord’s has been a happy hunting ground for Australia in the past, with the side having lost just one of its past 20 Test matches at the home of cricket. Michael Clarke men defeated Pakistan by 150 runs here in 2010, but lost to the old enemy by 115 runs at the venue in the 2009 Ashes series. Just one of the past ten Tests at Lord’s has ended in a draw , with England winning seven of the nine matches it has played at the ground in that period.
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