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England v Australia
LORD'S, JULY 16-20, 2015
2nd Test - ENG v AUS
|Australia 1st Inn||8/566|
|England 1st Inn||312 All Out|
|Australia 2nd Inn||2/254|
|England 2nd Inn||103 All Out|
|Australia won the toss and elected to bat|
|Australia won by 405 runs|
|. . . . . . |||. . . . 1 . |||. . . . 1 . ||
|Last Wicket:||Anderson, JM, 0 (BWD:Hazlewood)|
|Current Partnership:||2 runs, 15 balls, RR:13.33|
Revitalised and roaring, the ‘Three Lions’ of England ready themselves for a likely resurgent Australia in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s. Join The Roar at the home of cricket for Day 1 of live scores and commentary from 7:30pm AEST.
The formbook was not so much thrown out but torn to shreds by England last week in Cardiff. For all the pre-tour rhetoric about a poorly-positioned home side ready to be found wanting, it was instead the mistaken confidence of Australia that was brutally exposed.
There were many facets to England’s sumptuous first Test victory – take the early Day 1 position of 3/43 to make 430, or the incisive and disciplined bowling and fielding effort where patience was maintained and chances taken at first offing. Citing the work of a new coach for England’s resurgence is too simple – the shackles of the Flower-era have well and truly been jettisoned.
For all of England’s positive quality, Australia showcased a lack of Plan B when their preferred fire and brimstone method didn’t work. Darren Lehmann’s main concern is about how an experienced Test side were made to look less hungry than their counterparts. Perhaps a visit to the Home of Cricket is what is needed for Australian cricket to re-find its spark – that and several tweaks to the formation.
While changes have already been made for the visitors (Watson dropped, Haddin through personal reasons), it’s expected the rest of the XI will be given another shot at redemption. Yet surely the time for sentiment has long been used up for several among the baggy greens.
The only other pending question for Australia is the fitness of Mitchell Starc, who looked badly underpar in Wales following a knock to his ankle. His place could be filled either with the similarly attack-minded Pat Cummins, or a more stable alternative in Peter Siddle. Given Lehmann’s penchant for sheer pace, the prospect of Cummins will be viewed favourably, even if the quick’s first class appearances have been meagre since his only Test in South Africa four years ago.
In victory or defeat, England have been loathe to change tack against Australia at home in the last decade – and have been rewarded for their persistence in the main. Result aside, what will please England most is the manner in which nearly all of their line-up contributed positively in Cardiff. With no changes expected, the only item yet to be ticked off is a solid opening stand between Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth.
While the pitch is expected to contain more life and even bounce than the offering at Cardiff, the groundsman Mick Hunt has reportedly been instructed to remove the last tracings of grass, in a stark contrast to the pitch served up against New Zealand in May. While this may nullify the extent of seam movement for both sides, the evident slope of the ground will be of assistance, while also a surface of even bounce will allow the batsmen on both sides to settle into their task easier than at Cardiff.
England have the momentum and will need to ride with it at the Home of Cricket. They should expect the Australian riposte, but will start at Lord’s with a nation excited about cricket once again.