Australia vs England - 2nd Test preview

The second Ashes Test gets underway at Adelaide this weekend, in the first day-nighter in Ashes cricket in Australia.

England will be looking to bounce back after suffering a ten-wicket defeat in the opening match of the series at The Gabba.

After more than matching their opponents on the first couple of days, England’s fortunes drastically changed in Brisbane following a sensational century from Australia captain Steve Smith.

Smith’s brilliance acquired his side a small first innings lead but with all of the momentum well and truly in the hosts’ favour, England could only muster up 195 second time around in the face of some hostile home bowling.

Openers David Warner (87*) and Cameron Bancroft (82*) comfortably guided the team to their target of 170 without the loss of a wicket, as Australia preserved their 29-year unbeaten record at the venue.

*Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Attention now turns to Adelaide, as England look to level the series ahead of the Third Test at Perth which will undoubtedly suit the extra pace in the home bowling attack.

Ashes debutants Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan all showed promise in the first innings at Brisbane by making half-centuries, and they will look to turn their encouraging form into big centuries this time around.

The rest of the top seven is likely to be unchanged but one man who will be eager to kick-start his series will be Alastair Cook, after two single-figure scores.

If there are any changes, then it could be in the tourists’ bowling attack. Change bowlers Chris Woakes and Jake Ball were largely ineffective at The Gabba and there could be a temptation to hand a Test debut to either Craig Overton or Tom Curran.

As for Australia, it will be almost certainly be an unchanged side providing that there are no injuries. The likes of Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb will be keen to make sizeable contributions but the rest of the batting line-up looks in decent shape.

With just a four-man bowling attack, it is likely that changes could be made later in the series to ease fatigue. But for now it will be the same four bowlers lining up, all of which caused England problems at various stages of the First Test.

England had a number of opportunities which they failed to capitalise on and to lose the match by such a big margin will hurt. But if they can turn half-centuries into big centuries at Adelaide, then the series will be well and truly still alive.


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