Australia vs England: Second Test Preview

0
Photo Credit: [WILLIAM WEST]/Getty Images

Australia and England resume their rivalry as the two sides battle it out in the crucial second Test at Adelaide, with the home side seeking to extend their 1-0 lead and England looking to square the series.

The second Test represents something of a milestone. It is the 300th test between the sides and the first Ashes day/night match to be played. Day/night cricket is still something of an experiment but, at the same time, one that is progressing well. And of all the Tests England could look at to gain an advantage over Australia, this, you would feel is the one.

Both sides are still inexperienced when it comes to day/night cricket but England’s seam attack will perhaps be relieved to have a crack in conditions similar to those back home, with the pink ball expected to offer plenty of movement. The tourists have once again been in the headlines off the field as much as on it, with the excitement over Ben Stokes’ potential arrival increasing due to his trip to New Zealand, and Jonny Bairstow being caught up in ‘headbutt-gate‘. The reality is, however, that the tourists are 1-0 down and in need of a big result before it’s too late.

The Australian camp has been far more settled and, after a shaky first two days at Brisbane, look in a strong position to seal the series sooner rather than later. Steve Smith looks in outstanding form once again, with David Warner returning to his ominous best and an impressive debut from Cameron Bancroft offering plenty of room for encouragement. The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, despite their workload in the first Test, look fresh and threatening also. The Aussies will be wary of a backlash from England, however, and the result of this Test should go a long way to determining the outcome of the series.

Watch Out For:

Alastair Cook

Embed from Getty Images

Of all of England’s top order, Cook’s form is of most concern. The 32-year-old made just 2 and 7 at Brisbane and the manner of his dismissals will be just as concerning as his weight of runs. Cook failed to push forward convincingly to a Mitchell Starc outswinger on day one and was then uncharacteristically bounced out by Josh Hazlewood when England needed to dig in late on day three.

Adelaide has returned up and down results for Cook in the past. He scored 148 during his marathon series in 2010/11 but his previous four knocks either side of that series have seen him score just 40 runs. If England are to blunt Australia’s seam attack and prevent the home side from gaining further momentum, they need Cook to return to form, and in a big way.

Nathan Lyon

Despite the expectations that it would be Australia’s seam attack to be the catalyst behind England’s fragile top order, it was, in fact, Nathan Lyon who caused the most problems. The off-spinner picked up five wickets in the match and could have easily picked up more with better luck. In addition, he strangled the England batsmen through his accuracy and consistency.

How England approach Lyon could be key to the outcome of this series. The 30-year-old will know that England have plans in place to attack his bowling more and not let him settle. The battle between the impressive Lyon and a more positive England will be an intriguing one.

Team News

Australia

The home side have named an unchanged XI. There are no injury concerns as of yet with the pace trio, meaning Chadd Sayers once again misses out.

England

Moeen Ali remains a slight doubt with a cut on his finger but should be available to play, even with his bowling potentially restricted. The fourth seamer’s slot is likely to be decided on the day, with Craig Overton pushing Jake Ball, who returned with figures of 1-115 in the Brisbane Test, for a spot in the side.

Likely XI’s

Australia

  1. Cameron Bancroft
  2. David Warner
  3. Usman Khawaja
  4. Steve Smith (c)
  5. Peter Handscomb
  6. Shaun Marsh
  7. Tim Paine (wk)
  8. Mitchell Starc
  9. Pat Cummins
  10. Josh Hazlewood
  11. Nathan Lyon

England

  1. Alastair Cook
  2. Mark Stoneman
  3. James Vince
  4. Joe Root (c)
  5. Dawid Malan
  6. Moeen Ali
  7. Jonny Bairstow (wk)
  8. Chris Woakes
  9. Stuart Broad
  10. Jake Ball/Craig Overton
  11. James Anderson

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

LEAVE A REPLY