Monday, 25 September, 2023

Ashes rivals to stick to their guns in second Test

Ashes rivals to stick to their guns in second Test

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England and Australia have vowed to remain loyal to their contrasting tactical approaches, setting up the prospect of another thrilling Ashes clash in the second Test at Lord's starting Wednesday.

Australia, bidding for a first Ashes series win in England in 22 years, went 1-0 up in a five-match campaign with a dramatic two-wicket win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.

England were in sight of victory when they had their arch-rivals eight down and needing 54 more runs to win, only to be undone by an unbroken partnership between Australia captain Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

Seamer Josh Tongue has replaced Moeen Ali for the second Ashes Test as the spinning all-rounder Moeen suffered a burst blister on his right index finger in the narrow two-wicket defeat in the series opener at Edgbaston.

Seamer Chris Woakes and leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed were also overlooked in preference of Tongue, who impressed with a maiden five-wicket haul on his debut against Ireland earlier this month.

Australia too must decide whether to recall Mitchell Starc after the left-arm quick was left out at Edgbaston, where England went after Scott Boland -- the normally miserly seamer -- conceded runs at a rate of 5.65 per over.