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Australia v England
Adelaide Oval, December 2-6, 2017
2nd Test - Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018
|Australia 1st Inn||8/442 d.|
|England 1st Inn||227 all out|
|Australia 2nd Inn||138 all out|
|England 2nd Inn||233 all out|
|England won the toss and elected to bowl.|
|Australia win by 120 runs|
|England||Over: 84.2 RR: 2.38|
|Last Wicket:||J.M. Bairstow, 36 (b. Starc) - 10/233|
It’s almost a must-win Test for England when they take on Australia in the first ever day-night Ashes match at the Adelaide Oval. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of Day 1 from 2:30pm (AEDT).
After a ten-wicket win in the first Test which was more convincing on the scoreboard than it was in reality, Australia will be looking to play to their potential and extend the lead.
A majority of pundits have thought Australia held a significant advantage over the tourists in every location apart from Adelaide, where the pink ball and day-night cricket brings with it an air of uncertainty.
In truth, it was anything but a big difference between the sides in Brisbane. With the exception of a single session where England lost a couple of key wickets, including skipper Joe Root, they were on level-pegging with the Australians.
Defending 170 in the fourth innings was always going to be a struggle, but their attack was pedestrian as debutant Cameron Bancroft and vice-captain David Warner took Australia to victory.
Simply put, England need to improve across the park. The pressure goes on experienced players Joe Root and Alastair Cook in Adelaide. While youngsters Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan all scored runs in the first innings, the former duo must stand up against the might of the Australian attack.
That’ll be easier said than done though. Earlier in the Sheffield Shield season, New South Wales played a day-night match at Adelaide with Mitchell Starc running through the South Australian batting order.
While England were in the match throughout at the Gabba, Australia’s bowlers were below par. If the trio can pick things up, serious questions remain over England’s ability to score enough runs.
Then there will be the issue of stopping David Warner and Steve Smith. The pair looked to be in good form during the first Test, and while Usman Khawaja failed, he has been making plenty of runs at the top of the order for Queensland.
His problems against spin create issues, as does the still fragile Australian middle order, but in a series with the third Test at the WACA where the Aussies are expected to win comfortably, England must find a way to win in the city of churches.
The day-night element adds a large amount of unpredictability to the way this plays out. As we know, it gets tougher to bat under lights, so the toss will be crucial.
Australia should improve on their performance in Brisbane though and the English attack was pedestrian – it’s hard to see that changing even with the assistance of the pink ball.
The hosts go in as favourites and rightly so.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the first day’s play at the Adelaide Oval from 2:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment below.