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The Ashes: Second Test team news

Having secured a famous victory in the first Test of the Ashes series, Australia head to Lord's for the second game of the series knowing that they have enjoyed plenty of previous success at the Home of Cricket.

The Baggy Greens will no doubt be in excellent heart after their nerve-jangling win at Edgbaston, having taken a 1-0 lead in a series they only need to draw to retain the Ashes.

Next up is the second Test of five, with Pat Cummins and co going to Lord's knowing that they have enjoyed 15 Test wins at the historic venue, with England having only managed seven on their own patch.

Indeed a victory in 2009 ended a wait for an England success against Australia at Lord's which amazingly stretched all the way back to 1934.

WhatEngland v Australia, second Test
WhereLord's, London, England
When28th June - 2nd July, 2023
How to watchChannel 7, Foxtel, Kayo
OddsEngland 2.50, Draw 5.00, Australia 2.20

McDonald has bowling options

Australia may have been criticised for not looking all too certain how to combat 'Bazball' in the early stages of the first Test, but the cold, hard fact is that they came out on top when it mattered.

Head coach Andrew McDonald also pointed to an unexpected bonus resulting from the hosts' approach. The Aussie bowlers were not overworked during the contest, with the 32.2 overs delivered by skipper Cummins the most of any of the four seamers selected.

"Our bowlers didn't bowl as many overs as we probably expected in this Test match," McDonald admitted, with left-arm quick Mitchell Starc waiting in the wings if needed.

McDonald did admit to being surprised by how England went after the ever-accurate Scott Boland and his position could be in doubt if the tourists opt to draft in Starc to give themselves a totally different variation.

Josh Hazlewood will of course be monitored closely having only just returned from injury, but he got through the Edgbaston thriller with no apparent issues.

Khawaja shines as Warner struggles

Given that the match in Birmingham was won, Australia will be delighted to have got the job done without any major contributions from their middle-order engine room of Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Travis Head.

Six innings between the big three saw a return of just one half-century, leaving plenty of room for improvement at Lord's, where Smith made a magnificent 215 during the 405-run victory back in 2015, before making 92 at the same ground four years later.

The massive plus for Australia at Edgbaston was the player of the match performance of opener Usman Khawaja, who had previously averaged only 19.66 in Tests in England.

The left-hander erased any doubts as to his suitability to open in England with knocks of 141 and 65, leaving his opening partner David Warner as the only batter whose place could come under threat for the second Test.

Veteran Warner made 9 and 36 at Edgbaston to extend his run of struggles against the Three Lions on their own turf, although he may be saved by the fact that both of his possible replacements - Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw - are also left-handers.

England have issues to solve

Strong words have been emanating from the England camp since they lost out at Edgbaston, with Zak Crawley promising for Lord's "I think we'll win by, I don't know, 150 runs", while Ollie Robinson claimed "we've put the Aussies on the back foot".

The harsh reality is that they now have to win at least two of the remaining four Tests to have any chance of regaining the Ashes and Australia are not renowned as a team to let things slide after going in front.

The hosts may opt to draft in fast bowler Mark Wood to add some much-needed speed to their attack, while teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed has been added to their squad.

He has been brought in as cover for off-spinner Moeen Ali, who struggled with a blistered spinning finger at Edgbaston.

Rehan offers an intriguing prospect, having taken seven wickets against Pakistan in Karachi on his only Test appearance to date in December of last year.

What price a tyro leggie comes in and makes a big impact, it could only bring back memories of the Ball of the Century delivered by the late, great and much missed Shane Warne back in 1993.

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