There was such a big build up into the Ashes that fans from around the world wondered if the first test match would live up to all the hype. They were not disappointed, as the match continued into the 5th day and went down to the wire. While, England did win the test match as predicted, it was much too close for comfort. The Aussies confirmed that they will go down fighting and Darren Lehmann has promised that they will come out swinging at Lords.
The 2nd test starts on the 18th of July and will be held at the home of cricket, arguably the most famous ground in the world “Lords”. The weather forecast looks good and we are almost certain to get 5 days of play without the rain gods interrupting.
England are 1-0 up and will be looking to make it 2-0 which will most certainly mean they will retain the ashes, as it will be extremely difficult for the Aussies to win 3 test matches in a row.
However, playing back to back test matches in conditions that are hot, humid and dry is going to be extremely challenging for all the players. While Australia showed fight, they need to seriously work on their batting. Coach Darren Lehmann did not mince words in speaking to the media when he said “I still don’t think we performed to the level we want to perform at. If we do that then we’ll be good enough. We’ve certainly got to bat better as a top order. We’re going to bowl very well, and we know we can control their batters. It’s just a case of making more runs. I just thought we missed a chance probably in the first innings with our top order. I know conditions were tough, but we had to get through that. They’re the areas we can improve on”.
England News: England played reasonably well and are expected to field more or less the same team. Their two biggest concerns will be man of the match James Anderson who had a huge workload in the first test. If England have to bowl first at Lords, then James Anderson will have to be managed extremely well. The second concern will be the form of Steven Finn who looked out of sorts in the first test. He will most likely be replaced by Tim Bresnan who will strengthen the batting as well.
Australia News: Darren Lehmann surprised everyone with the inclusion of Ashton Agar who had a fabulous debut test match. He could end up making two more changes to the squad according to reports from the Australia media. Ed Cowan who had a poor test match will most likely give way for Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc could be replaced by either Ryan Harris or Jackson Bird whose bowling style will be conducive to the pitch at Lords.
DRS: While the first test match was exceptional it was marred by controversy, mostly caused by the DRS. However, both teams have taken it into their stride and instead directed their focus on using their 2 reviews per innings wisely. The onfield umpires have also been in the thick of things and will want to ensure that the second test match has no controversy as the quality of umpiring needs to improve for sure.
England Side (probable): Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (c), Phil Hughes, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird and Ashton Agar.
Australia Side (probable): Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan.
Match Officials: Marais Erasmus, Kumar Dharmasena will be the on field umpires, Tony Hill will be the TV umpire and Ranjan Madugalle will be the match referee.
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