posted on 2019-08-13 12:12:18
posted by Michael Harrison
Image courtesy: DNA India
England: R Burns, J Roy, J Root, J Bairstow, J Buttler, B Stokes, C Woakes, S Curran, J Archer, J Leach, S Broad
Australia: D Warner, C Bancroft, U Khawaja, S Smith, T Head, M Wade, T Paine, J Pattinson, P Cummins, J Hazlewood/P Siddle/M Starc, N Lyon
Lord's is one of the most sporting surfaces in England and the seamers tend to enjoy the slope which could be a huge factor as always.
Riding high on a thumping win in the series opener at Edgbaston, Australia seek to double their lead but England at home aren't used to losing back to back games. The World Cup final and then the Ireland Test showed that the venue does give England some luck and they will need that against an Aussie side that's high on confidence.
England's 12-man squad for the game suggests at least two changes from the first Test. Jofra Archer is in line for a Test debut in the absence of the injured James Anderson while Sam Curran is expected to be in the XI for the axed Moeen Ali due to Lord's aiding left-arm pacers. It's a condition-dependent move that England are bound to take.
The other option will be to bring in Jack Leach as a direct like-for-like replacement in terms of spin bowling. If both Leach and Curran have to play, England will need to drop Joe Denly and it's a move that could happen but all depends on how confident the hosts are with playing just five specialist batsmen.
Australia had a near flawless game at Edgbaston after a stuttering start to it. Their only concern is regarding the bowling attack and its workload management. Given that there was a considerable break since the last game, you'd think that the pacers are all fresh and raring to go. But with little turnaround time between this game and the third Test, care is needed.
The left-arm pacer angle at Lord's is a threat but Mitchell Starc hasn't pushed his case in the warm-up games to be in contention. That could give Josh Hazlewood an edge in the race for the third seamer's spot, if Australia decide to rest Peter Siddle. It's a decision that Australia will ponder a lot on, before making the final call.
Odds and predictions
The 2015 Ashes Test at Lord's saw Australia pummeling England in a one-sided game. A lot depends on the toss because despite the early help on day one, it's a bat-first ground and both teams will be eager to get first strike. Considering team morale and a marginally better batting line-up in terms of form, I'm going with 53-47 in favor of Australia in this clash.