Second Ashes Test Betting Preview : England and Australia to be frustrated
- 14-18 August
- Live on Sky Sports
The first Test of the Ashes series was a pulsating affair which Australia ended up winning pretty comfortably, but the second could end up being a frustrating time for both the Aussies and England.
Largely thanks to the brilliance of Steve Smith, who scored centuries in both innings, it was a famous victory for the tourists at Edgbaston which puts them in a great position for the series. England put themselves in such a great spot on the first day of the Test, with the Australians eight down for 122, but Smith got them out of jail and won them the game.
England have a number of questions to answer and they have tried to do so by bringing in Jofra Archer for the injured James Anderson and Jack Leach for the under-performing Moeen Ali. They look like good moves and should give the home side a boost, but will it be enough?
Steve Smith is a behemoth at the crease
The English fans are desperately hoping Archer or Leach will discover the formula to get Smith out. He was eventually dismissed twice in the first Test, but it was at points that he was playing reckless, outrageous shots. Otherwise he barely looked troubled for hours at the crease.
The pace of Archer will be something for ‘Smudger’ to deal with, while Leach will surely bowl better than Moeen did in Birmingham, but it is still difficult to see him genuinely having trouble. He is in such fantastic form and he also loves playing at Lord’s. Last time the Aussies played at the Home of Cricket, Smith scored 215 in the first innings and a breezy 58 off 48 balls in the second as Australia scored a comfortable win.
He is the best batsman on the planet and comfortably the best in this series, especially with Joe Root not at his best. It looks an extremely safe bet for Smith to be the best batsman in his Australia team at Lord’s.
The weather in London is a serious problem
Unfortunately for both England and Australia, the chances of a result in this contest are somewhat limited by the weather in London over the coming days.
The Test is due to start on Wednesday 14 August but there is every chance that there could be no play at all on the opening day. Rain is forecast for the entire day and we may not see a ball bowled. Thursday and Friday are set to be vastly better and we should get two full days of action there, but Saturday and Sunday are again set to be very wet. It is likely that we will lose play on both those days and possibly quite a lot of it on Saturday.
The pace of batting was generally reasonably slow in the first Test and if that continues, along with the weather disruptions, it will be very difficult to get four innings in. Especially with Smith almost immoveable and the Aussies now happy to dig in and take a draw having taken a lead in the series.
Broad likes it at Lord's
While there is some play, one man on the England team that should be able to cash in is Stuart Broad who has a good record at Lord’s. The veteran pace bowler averages 27.22 in Tests at the London venue, slightly better than his overall Test record and he looked very good there against Ireland last month, taking three wickets in the first innings and four in the second.
The previous Test at Lord’s saw him take five wickets against India and last time Australia played at the ground, Broad took four scalps in the first innings. He is vastly experienced and will be able to move the ball around in the weather conditions and using the infamous slope.
Broad struggled at times in the first Test, but still took five wickets in the first innings and one more in the second. He is leading the attack in the absence of Jimmy Anderson and will perform well as he fights to get his team back into the series.
England squad: 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 squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
- Australia won the first test by 251 runs
- Steve Smith scored 286 runs in the first test
- Smith now averages 62.96 in Tests
- The former captain has scored 25 centuries and 24 half-centuries in 65 Tests
- Smith scored 215 in the first innings of his last Test at Lord’s
- Nathan Lyon took nine wickets in the first Test, more than anyone else
- Australia won their last Test match at Lord’s by 405
- There is rain forecast on three of the five days of this Test
- England have won four of their last five Tests at Lord’s
- Rory Burns was England’s only centurion in the first Test, scoring 133 in the first innings