About the Match
Determination is the hall-mark of achievement and that is what mattered to Australia, who went to the 2nd Test trailing 1-0 but reversed the end result in their favor to square up 1-1 with a huge margin and it would be difficult to stop them with such a momentum. England needs to fight it out and bounce back when they meet Australia for the 3rd Ashes test at Birmingham on 29th July; they couldn’t put up a semblance of resistance with such a mammoth total to surpass in the last test and must redeem themselves with a win here. Australia on the other hand would not like to leave the opponent off the hook and will certainly go in to the next match with the determination to win.
England has to reinvent the magic they created in the first test and need some extra bite in the opening attack; they must learn to tackle the in-form Rogers and Warner who dominated on the field. Anderson was quite costly in the last match and must find answers to the dominant Aussie openers. Broad has been effective and they might try to change the opening attack with someone like Mark WoodWood who has been impressive so far.
Moeen Ali is certainly able to provide the required breaks and he could be the man with badly needed venom who the Aussies may not be able to gauge. Cook needs implementable strategy and course correction as the match progresses at Birmingham, to handle situation on the spot to check the Aussies.
They need a huge total if batting first and some quick wickets if they are put into field; the batsmen, who failed to deliver in the previous game need to put their heads together and be at the crease instead of succumbing to pressure.
Australia has no doubt put the loss in the 1st test in the back burner and went in with a fresh approach in the 2nd test to emerge right on top. The openers proved to be invincible and managed to dominate the proceedings in the match. Every one gave their extra bit to ensure a challenging total in 1st innings and then exploited the conditions and maintained psychological advantage over the arch rivals, winning the match convincingly by a whopping 405 runs.
They are bound to maintain the same squad and go with an offensive approach at Birmingham; Johnson is going strong and will manage at one end without allowing much liberty to the batsmen. There will be good support by Starc, Hazlewood, Marsh and Lyon who have been impressive throughout.
Overall, they are able to focus on their strengths and contribute in all departments of the game to dominate the opponent; a good mix of experience, talent and new blood has made this team a formidable force to reckon with.
The psychological advantage is with the visitors and a thoroughly mauled home side would find it rather difficult to thwart the tactics of the Aussies here; with a massive win fresh in their memory, Australia looks better placed to win the 3rd Test.
Steve Smith regained the top spot in ICC Cricket ratings as far as batting is concerned. He scored a massive double century and appears well set to score another big score in 3rd Test. With the form he's in, I think he will be the top scorer for Australia in the first innings of 3rd Test.
First Innings Top Scorer - Australia
Steven Smith, 3.75 @ Bet365