Monday, December 09, 2019

Posted at: Aug 14, 2019, 7:31 AM; last updated: Aug 14, 2019, 7:31 AM (IST)ASHES 2ND TEST

Archer, Smith face-off in second Test

London, August 13

England are set to field a revamped attack featuring fast bowler Jofra Archer as they try to finally get Australia's batting star Steve Smith out cheaply and level the Ashes in the second Test at Lord's. Holders Australia, bidding to win their first away Ashes series for 18 years, humbled England last time out thanks in large part to Smith, who returned to this level following a 12-month ban for his involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Smith made two centuries as Australia cruised to a 251-run first Test win in Birmingham.

England have only twice won the Ashes after losing the opener — when all-rounder Ian Botham turned the 1981 series on its head with several superb solo efforts, and in the thrilling 2005 contest which they edged 2-1. Defeat in Birmingham was made worse for England by the fact that James Anderson, their all-time leading wicket-taker, broke down with a calf injury after bowling just four overs. The injury has ruled the 37-year-old swing specialist out of the Lord's encounter.

Archer to the fore

Anderson's absence means England are set to give a Test debut to Archer, who will be returning to the ground where he bowled the dramatic Super Over that sealed a thrilling World Cup final win over New Zealand last month. But the 24-year-old, coached at Sussex by former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie, has played just 28 First-Class matches and Australia coach Justin Langer was looking to his batsmen to wear him down in a way that's not possible in ODIs, where bowlers are restricted to a maximum of 10 overs.

England are also set to field left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who scored a career-best 92 in the one-off Test win over Ireland at Lord's last month, after Moeen Ali was dropped following his lacklustre display in the first Test.

Pattinson out

Australia have left pace bowler James Pattinson out of their 12-man squad for the second Test, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood both vying for a recall. The weather could be a factor in who gets the nod, with rain possible throughout Wednesday. — Agencies

2Times England have won the Ashes after losing the opener — when all-rounder Ian Botham turned the 1981 series on its head with several superb solo efforts, and in the 2005 contest which they edged 2-1

1Instance in history when a team has lost the series after taking a 2-0 lead after the first two matches — Australia defeated England 3-2 in the 1936-37 Ashes after trailing 0-2. Australia have the chance to go 2-0 up and put one hand on the Ashes trophy

1 Australia’s victory at Edgbaston in Birmingham was their first in the opening Test of an away Ashes series since 2005

6 Losses in last 7 Tests for England vs Australia, with one draw  

6 Tests Australia have won of the last 10 against England at Lord’s. Before losses in 2013 and 2009, Australia last suffered a defeat at Lord’s in 1934 

34.90  Smith’s average against left-arm spin compared to a superb overall Test mark of nearly 63


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