Australia lead 1-0 in the five-match Ashes series after victory at Edgbaston in the opener, and Tim Paine’s side now bid to repeat the trick at Lord’s in the second test.
England have won only two Lord’s Tests against Australia since 1938 and lost the most recent encounter in 2015 by 405 runs. Can Australia match that effort and take a 2-0 series lead?
From being 122 for 8 in the first innings to a comprehensive rout, Australia banked on the superlative performance of their returning talisman Steve Smith (144 & 142). He also has a double hundred in his last visit to this venue, and Australia will hope he continues his good form.
The visitors could also contemplate bringing Mitchell Starc in the place of Peter Siddle to take advantage of the swinging conditions. Nathan Lyon will once again be crucial, with the famous slope at Lord’s adding dramatic drift to his lovely flight.
After the drubbing at Edgbaston, England dropped Moeen Ali and recalled Jack Leach to their 12. The left-arm spinner hopes to tie the loose ends up, after a match-winning performance against Ireland here, albeit with the bat.
England will most likely hand a debut to the exciting Jofra Archer, their best bowler from the World Cup with 20 wickets, in place of James Anderson. The speedster warmed up with an all-round performance for Sussex second XI, and will hope to slot seamlessly into the Test side. Even otherwise, England have a lot of concerns over their batting with the top-order leading the failures.
- England have won six of their last eight home Tests (W6, D1, L1).
- England have won just two Lord’s Tests against Australia since 1938 (W2, D9, L10).
- England have not lost consecutive home Tests since against South Africa in July 2008.
- Australia have lost ten of their last 16 away Tests (W4, D2, L10).
- Australia have lost seven of their last 12 Tests in England (W3, D2, L7).
- Australia have not won three Ashes Tests in England in a row, since 2001.
Australia showed everyone just why they are so difficult to face in any Ashes series. Although Smith bossed the contest, the form of Travis Head, Usman Khawaja and Mathew Wade gave them a lot to cheer.
England had just the debut century of Rory Burns to cheer, and will be desperate to bounce back. Another loss could confine the series firmly in the visiting corner.
The addition of Archer and Leach is expected to lift the side that is searching for an inspirational comeback, but all that might not matter with some rain around making the draw the value option at Lord’s.
Prediction: Draw ($2.04 TopBetta)