It was a terrific start to the most revered Test series in cricketing history, Ashes but the hosts ended up on the wrong side. The England team was always playing the catch-up game after losing their star bowler, James Anderson in the first session of the game. While the Kangaroos hopped all around the park and reached the finish line comfortably.
Now for the second chapter, the teams will be penning their respective scripts at the historic Lord’s cricket ground. Joe Root’s men wavered against the might of Australians. Apart from a couple of individual brilliance the team never played as a unit. In the batting department, Rory Burns was the lone bright spot. Other established stars threw away their wickets and didn’t play according to the needs of the team. Stuart Board was the hero with the ball but the other bowlers lacked control and gave away easy runs. Though they will miss the services of Anderson, the return of Jofra Archer will boost the confidence of the team ahead of the second game.
The Australian team showed their resilience and pinned down their opponents on their happy hunting ground. Especially Steve Smith who gave a fitting reply to the booing English crowd with his twin centuries. His batting masterclass separated the two teams and he was supported well by Matthew Wade with his counterattacking ton in the second innings.
Throughout the game their pace battery was in full flow and their champion spinner, Nathan Lyon also stood up when the team required him. They don’t have major issues going into the Lord’s Test but they should not let their guard down against the wounded lions.
England’s likely Playing XI
Rory Burns’ century will be a relief for the English camp as they have struggled to find a quality opener since the retirement of Andrew Strauss. His partner Jason Roy will be looking to make necessary adjustments for the red-ball cricket. Skipper, Joe Root will be eager to correct his batting mistakes. Joe Denly is likely to be dropped from the playing XI and in that case, keeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow will be the new No.4 for the rest of the series.
Jos Buttler will have a bigger role to play as he is selected as a pure batsman. Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran will make up the lower order and their all-round abilities make them a vital part of this side. Spinner, Jack Leach has been preferred over Moeen Ali and he can also score handy runs down the order. Stuart Broad will be leading the pace attack and he will be accompanied by Jofra Archer who is expected to get his Test Cap.
Probable XI: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer.
Australia’s likely Playing XI
David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be considering the last game as a minor glitch. Especially the former who had a breakthrough World Cup in the same country. Usman Khwaja will be supporting the top-order in case of early jitters. Unless a miracle the batting maestro Steve Smith is expected to continue his dominance in the classic format. Travis Head has also looked composed in his stay.
Matthew Wade has shown his batting capabilities and his presence will help captain, Tim Paine who has many tasks on his hand. Pat Cummins will be the leader of the pace battery and he might share the new ball with Mitchell Starc. The left-arm pacer will get the advantage of the iconic slope. Peter Siddle will be the third seamer and his batting will be a bonus. Then the spin duties will be shouldered by the GOAT, Nathan Lyon.
Probable XI: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle/Josh Hazlewood.
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