After a nail-biting first test match the Ashes Series travels to Lord’s for the Second test match between England and Australia. Some of the key factors before the start of this match include the time wasting tactics used by the Englishmen in the first test match and Andrew Flintoff’s decision to retire from test cricket after the Ashes Series. The Australians will be aware of both these factors when they taken on England in this match to get the upper hand in the series. The pre match hype if not serious will play a key role in the outcome of this match as neither team will take each other lightly.
The Australians will know that they had England pinned right on the mat and missed securing victory by a narrow margin in Cardiff. They might go into the match a little disappointed with England happy to be on level terms. Only time will tell if these factors play a key role in the match. The conditions on field are excellent for the bowlers from both the teams as the wicket at Lord’s will offer the required pace and bounce. However, Lord’s has been a special place for the Aussies since the Englishmen have never got the better of them in this venue for the last 75 years of the Ashes series. Perhaps it is time to add a new chapter to the history of Lord’s this time round or will it be the same story as heard often while going through the pages of history.
Lord’s might be the venue where the English captain Andrew Strauss can get a huge score after missing out in the First test match. This is the ground where Strauss plays county cricket for Middlesex, so nothing is unknown to him regarding this venue. However, the Australians should not sleep on their record in this venue. The Englishmen have not fared badly on this wicket. Strauss himself has got an average of over 50 in his last few innings on this ground. The Australians will need to show similar kind of form as in the first test match to ensure that their record remains intact in this venue. The England squad will have five bowlers with a slight concern regarding Flintoff’s knee injury. Steve Harmison is there to make the squad incase Flintoff pulls out. Graham Onions might get a look in as the wicket of Lord’s might not be suitable for two spinners. The Australians are likely to send out the same squad into the field to get the better of England this time round.
Though drawn test matches happen more frequently in Lord’s but the bowlers should be happy that this pitch has a bit of juice in it to help the bowlers. The Cardiff wicket was a nightmarish situation for the English bowlers as they did not get any kind of assistance from the wicket. Neither did the Australian batsman lower their guard. In a match held in 2005, 17 wickets tumbled on the opening day on this wicket. Therefore, one should expect a lot of lively bounce and movement for the faster men in this match.
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