The Ashes Second Test

England won the first test against the odds, and it was a comprehensive win as well by 169 runs. We now move to Lords where England have won the last two Ashes matches (although they hadn't beaten Australia at Lords for 75 years previous to that).

The Aussies have the air of being a little in disarray. It sounds like Shane Watson is going to be dropped for Mitchell Marsh and Brad Haddin will miss at least this test due to personal reasons. Peter Nevill will deputise for Haddin and it will be quite an occasion to make your test debut - in a crucial Ashes test at the home of cricket - no pressure then Peter!

For England Moeen Ali has a side strain which has limited his practice time, Cook however did seem quite upbeat about his chances of playing.

Onto the match itself. The weather is set fair for the five days and although the pitch should have a bit more pace and bounce than Cardiff, I still expect it to be batsman friendly. It looks as though it may be overcast for the first hour or so, therefore the team batting first could find themselves having a tricky first session to negotiate. I actually wouldn't be too disappointed if England lost the toss and bowled as the Australia batting line up has a bit of a fragile feel to it after the first test and a few early wickets could really sow the seeds of doubt.

Cook and Lyth could both do with a few runs as neither got a score in the first match, Lyth made a start in the second innings but never really looked comfortable, especially against Lyon. Ballance and Bell both hit confidence boosting half centuries and need to build on that here. Joe Root appears to be on a different planet to anyone else on either side at the moment and England really need that form to continue. He even took a couple of wickets in the second innings of the first test to leave the Man of the Match award a shoe in.

As it appears we will get the full five days of cricket here, and both bowling attacks are superior to the batting in my opinion, I think there's a really good chance we'll get a result here. And at the prices England represent excellent value at 15/8.

Jimmy Anderson has a fantastic record at Lords and bowled well with the new ball in the first match. Stuart Broad is only marginally behind him at Lords and he was in really impressive form at Cardiff. He was unlucky not to have more than five wickets in the match and I am backing him to be the highest wicket taker in this match at 5/1.

If he continues in his current form and takes the wickets I expect him to, Man of the Match is a reasonable chance as well and at 16/1 this can be a small play.


England to win second test - 1 point @ 15/8

Stuart Broad top bowler in the match - 1 point @ 5/1

Stuart Broad Man of the Match - 1/2 point @ 16/1




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