Ashes: England eye comeback at historic Lord’s


London: After suffering from an embarrassing 251-run defeat in the Edgbaston Test, England will aim to bounce back and level the series when they meet Australia in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s beginning Wednesday.

England will be without the services of their premier fast bowler James Anderson who suffered a calf injury after bowling just four overs on the opening day in Birmingham. 

Despite that, England skipper Joe Root will hope that his bowling unit — which will most likely see the inclusion of young Jofra Archer — can make an impact against Australia, and in particular, Steve Smith. The former skipper scored twin centuries in the first Test and turned out to be the difference between the arch-rivals.

“I personally believe in Test cricket you get a lot more opportunities to redeem yourself. In 50 overs, if you don’t have a good 10 overs that’s it — you’ve got wait till the next game. You have ample chances to do it in the red-ball game. I’m probably more ready than I’ve ever been,” said Archer who is all set to make his Test debut.

However, assistant coach Paul Collingwood has already said that they cannot afford to rely on just Archer to win the match against Australia. 

On the other hand, Australia are high on confidence after their emphatic win in Birmingham and would want to extend their lead in the five-match series. 

It was not just Smith’s brilliance which would have pleased the management. Matthew Wade’s fluent century in the second innings and brilliant bowling from off-spinner Nathan Lyon would have also instilled a lot of confidence in the visitor’s dressing room. 

Only one change could be seen in the visitor’s XI with Mitchell Starc coming in for James Pattinson. Starc has proved to be lethal on Lord’s famous slope as he took nine wickets in the two matches at the Home of Cricket during the recently concluded World Cup. But whether Australia tinker with a winning combination or not, only time will tell.

Squads: Australia: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

England: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.