A 251-run defeat in Edgbaston proved that England’s quest to regain the Ashes won’t be easy. The sides now move to Lord’s for the second Test starting from Wednesday. Australia will hope to win again, to extend their grip over the urn.
Injury to senior bowler James Anderson dented England’s chances in the first Test. They are yet to solve Steve Smith puzzle and are sure to receive another stern exam. As for the visitors, with most of the boxes ticked they look confident to continue the run.
England started the first Test well, pinning Australia to 122 for 8 on the first day. Despite letting Australia score 284 in the first innings, England took a lead of 90 runs. However, they still went on to lose by a whopping 251 runs.
The poor form of Joe Denly and Jonny Bairstow is a concern for England. With Jofra Archer set to make his debut, all eyes and hopes will be on him. However, England’s chances will depend on how quick they can snare Steve Smith.
The win at Edgbaston was Australia’s first in the opening Test of an away Ashes since 2005. Smith continued to scale new heights with the bat, making that possible. Even Matthew Wade’s second innings century and Travis Head’s runs are a boost.
Australia will also be happy to see Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have fruitful outings. James Pattinson bowled his heart out, but with limited results. Overall, the Aussies start as favourites at a venue they won comprehensively in the last Ashes.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Chris Woakes enjoys bowling at the home of cricket. He has 24 wickets at 9.75 runs apiece here. Expect him to swing it once again.
Steve Smith has three consecutive Ashes tons in England. No one has scored four hundreds in four innings in England, but Smith looks primed to do that.
Nathan Lyon was the silent performer for Australia in Edgbaston. While all attention remains on the pacers, expect him to surprise the batsmen once again.
England: 1 Rory Burns 2 Jason Roy 3 Joe Root (C) 4 Joe Denly 5 Jos Buttler 6 Ben Stokes 7 Jonny Bairstow 8 Jofra Archer 9 Chris Woakes 10 Chris Broad 11 Jack Leach
Australia: 1 Cameron Bancroft 2 David Warner 3 Usman Khawaja 4 Steve Smith 5 Travis Head 6 Matthew Wade 7 Tim Paine (C & WK) 8 Peter Siddle 9 Pat Cummins 10 Mitchell Starc 11 Nathan Lyon
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