London          -        England will look to put behind their 251-run defeat at Edgbaston and draw level in the five-match series against Australia in the second Test at Lord’s.

England’s progress on the opening day in Birmingham was dented by James Anderson’s injury, as the veteran paceman bowled just four overs before leaving the field due to calf injury. The hosts couldn’t seize the advantage, despite claiming a healthy first-innings lead of 90, and Australia had firm control when they posted 487/7 in their second outing. Despite that, Joe Root, the England captain, will hope his bowling unit, likely to feature young Jofra Archer, can make an impact against Australia, and in particular, Steve Smith, who scored 144 and 142 in the first Test.

Australia, meanwhile, will be pumped. Their win at Edgbaston was their first in the opening Test of an away Ashes series since 2005. Apart from Smith’s continued excellence as a batsman, Matthew Wade’s fluent century in the second innings would’ve pleased the management immensely. Mitchell Starc, having missed out in Birmingham, is likely to return to the XI, and could prove lethal on Lord’s famous slope – he took nine wickets in the two matches at Lord’s during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

After being reduced to 122/8 on the opening day of the first Ashes Test, Smith led a remarkable comeback for Australia, scoring his 24th Test century to take the visitors to a respectable 284 in the first innings. The No 2-ranked batsman in the ICC Men’s Test Rankings thereafter put up another strong performance in the second innings, this time finding able support in Wade, who scored a steady 110 on his Test comeback, as Australia set England a daunting target of 398.

Nathan Lyon then exploited the fifth day surface to producing a match-winning spell of 6/49, as the visitors completed a comprehensive 251-run win to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

England paceman Jofra Archer said: “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.”

Australia speedster Mitchell Starc said: “We want to win this Ashes. Whether that’s a different bowling attack each game, or the same through five Test matches, it’s pretty exciting. We’re prepared for all conditions, whether it be flat, green, seaming, swinging, slow, fast. It’s exciting to have everyone up and firing and plenty to choose from.” There is forecast for rain at various points during the match, with temperatures hovering between 14-17°C. Both captains might consider bowling first, given the overcast and breezy conditions expected on Wednesday.

SQUADS:

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

AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (c, wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.