We’re only one Ashes Test deep this summer, and England are already staring down the barrel: Australia look more powerful in most sections, and if Joe Root’s men succumb to the old foe in Lord’s–a floor where they have constantly fought –then they could kiss the urn goodbye.
The Edgbaston Test was a stressing wake-up call; England were outperformed with the ball (particularly in the spinning section ) and outperformed by Australia’s allegedly shaky top-order.
England have just beaten Australia twice at Lord’s in Test matches since 1934, and while I would love to dive right into why England can defy history, conquer Australia and claw themselves back into the series, it’s looking as though the weather is going to have the last laugh.
Wednesday (the opening day) resembles a complete washout, since does Saturday, while Friday’s prediction is hit-and-miss in the best. Needless to say, I have no doubt England are capable of losing to Australia in 2 weeks (just look at how they achieved against Ireland for large pieces of that match), but considering the amount of rain forecast, it is hard to pass up 16/11 on a draw.
Two of Root’s games as England skipper have finished in draws–emphasizing the cut-and-thrust character of this present side–but I would expect to see a different come Sunday.
My first player-based tip is for Mitchell Starc to be high Australian bowler in their innings.
Starc was not chosen for the very first Test–a great move taking into consideration the outcome –although the Aussies are seeking to adopt a horses-for-courses strategy this particular series, meaning Starc’s selection for this game is a no-brainer.
In little over 54 overs bowled at the Home of Cricket in most formats, the Aussie left-armer has claimed 12 scalps; Starc is still a master exponent of their Lord’s pitch, bringing the ball into right-handed batsmen seeking to snare them LBW, also considering five of England’s top seven right-handers, that tip has plenty of promise.
The 29-year-old ran riot against England at Lord’s in the World Cup, and I can envisage a similar situation this time around.
Priced in a gigantic 3/1, I’ve Chris Woakes as high England bowler.
There’s one simple reason behind this: Woakes has taken 24 Test wickets at Lord’s at an average of 9.75. Those characters are completely sensational.
Conditions will probably favour the seamers, therefore of course Stuart Broad is a major player in this marketplace (90 wickets @27.22 in Lord’s) although Jofra Archer could be the greatest wildcard, but 3/1 is far too big a price for Woakes in this second Test.

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