The home of cricket hosts the Second Ashes Test with Australia leading 1-0 in the five Test series following their 251-run victory at Edgbaston. That Test will be remembered for Steve Smith’s batting heroics with centuries in both innings to reverse the fortunes of the visitors who were 122 for eight in the first innings.
|Wednesday – 11.00am||Odds||Bets|
|Charlie Mullan’s 2nd Ashes Test Tips|
|Joe Root, David Warner & Steve Smith to score combined 200+ first innings runs Best Bet||5/2|
|Chris Woakes to be Top England Bowler||100/30|
|Under 27.5 runs for 1st wicket||4/5|
Sadly, the Edgbaston Test will also be remembered for some shocking umpiring decisions which, without DRS, would have ruined the Test. Both sides will hope for better decision making by the umpires at Lord’s.
England’s hopes of getting off to a winning start in Birmingham were hindered by the calf injury to James Anderson who only managed to bowl four overs and his place in the squad for Lord’s has gone to Jofra Archer while Jack Leach replaces Moeen Ali.
We have selected some of the bets available as England return to the scene of their World Cup glory last month.
Joe Root, David Warner and Steve Smith to score combined 200+ first innings runs @ 5/2 (William Hill)
Now that the players have got the first Test out of the way, nerves should be less of an issue at Lord’s, although walking through the Long Room to get to the crease might affect some of the players experiencing The Ashes for the first time.
Many of the top order batsmen in both teams struggled for runs including Australia’s opener David Warner. Warner, one of the ‘Sandpaper Three’ followed up his first innings failure of two, with eight runs in the second innings with Stuart Broad taking his wicket both times.
Joe Root struggled in the second innings scoring just 28 when England needed their captain to stay at the crease for a long period of time on the final day to avoid defeat. A first innings knock of 57, after moving up the batting order to number three, was another case of Root failing to convert a 50 into a century.
This series, much like the last series Down Under at the end of 2017 and the start of 2018, has been billed as Root against the Australian captain Steve Smith. Smith put on a batting masterclass with centuries in both innings. His total of 286 runs accounted for 37 per cent of the total runs his country scored in Birmingham. Lord’s holds good memories for Australia after beating England by 405 runs on their last Ashes tour to England four years ago.
Back then, Smith top scored in the first innings with 215 runs while Warner hit 83 in the second innings so the pair clearly enjoy batting at the home of cricket where their reception coming out to bat won’t be as loud as it was at Edgbaston. So there is a very good chance the trio of Root, Warner and Smith will combine to score over 200 first innings runs.
Chris Woakes to be England’s top bowler @ 10/3 (William Hill)
With James Anderson ruled out with a calf injury and replaced by Jofra Archer, England will have a fully fit group of bowlers for the second Test and the MCC members will be confident of restoring parity in this Ashes series with three Tests to follow.
Stuart Broad picked up some of the slack left by Anderson with six wickets in the first Test including five for 86 in the first innings. Chris Woakes got off to an encouraging start with the wickets of Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Matthew Wade when Australia batted first, but Woakes only managed to follow that up with Khawaja’s wicket in the second innings.
Just as Lord’s is a happy hunting ground for the tourists, Woakes doesn’t have to go to far back to recall good memories of bowling at the home of cricket. Last month, Woakes ripped through Ireland’s batting order in the second innings to finish with figures of six for 17 from just 7.4 overs. Admittedly, Ireland are not in the same class as the Australians, but Woakes should trouble the Australia batsmen if he can bowl the same line and length as he did with devastating effect that Friday morning.
Woakes got the ball to swing against the Irish and he will hope to do the same this time around. Australia were 35 for three in the first innings at Edgbaston and 27 for two in the second innings to highlight the struggles experienced by their openers. If England are to win the second Test, Woakes will have to be among the wickets early and at 10/3, he is good value to be England’s top bowler in the absence of Anderson.
Odds correct as of 12th Aug, 11:38 Odds subject to change.
Under 27.5 runs for 1st wicket @ 4/5 (bet365)
One of the telling statistics from the first Test was how both sides struggled at the start of their respective innings. Australia won the toss and decided to bat first and after losing David Warner with just two runs on the board, it looked as though that decision would come back to bite the tourists. And things did not get much better with Cameron Bancroft quickly following Warner back to the pavilion with Australia’s score on 17 as the visitors patiently moved to 374 all out after losing their eighth wicket with the score on 122.
Australia lost their first wicket in the second innings for 13, but they still had Smith to come in at number four to rescue them.
Before the series got under way, one of the issues England had to deal with was their inability to get off to solid starts. Their average score for the fall of their first wicket was 22 runs. When Jason Roy was caught by Steve Smith from a James Pattinson delivery, they had 22 runs on the board.
It didn’t get any better in the second innings for Joe Root’s side as they lost their first wicket in the second innings for just 19 runs. Between the two teams, the average score for the fall of the first wicket was just 14 runs.
The importance of getting off to a solid start cannot be underestimated. Without the intervention of Smith, Australia could have been bowled out for close to 150 in the first innings which would have changed the whole dynamic of the first Test. The toss at Edgbaston was a good toss to lose for England as it took the decision of whether to bat first or second out of their hands.
The toss at Lord’s will be just as important and whoever elects to bat first, or is put in to bat first, will want to put on a solid foundation with a prolific first wicket partnership. However, the first Test showed neither side is particularly strong at the top of their batting order, so expect the first wicket of the match to fall for less than 28.