Australia, determined to level the five-match series,
will be greeted by blazing sunshine and a venue where it lost
only once last century when it arrives at Lord's for the second
Ashes test against England tonight NZ time.
Britain is engulfed in a heatwave which is forecast to last
throughout the match, and conditions for the first test at
Trent Bridge were reminiscent of the Indian sub-continent.
After heroic last-wicket stands in each innings, Australia
eventually lost by 14 runs on Monday. But it will be buoyed
by the resilience and resourcefulness it showed at the
midpoint of a horrible year in which it has been beaten 4-0
in India and failed to advance past the first round of the
The touring side's cause was hardly advanced with news
yesterday that its former South African coach, Mickey Arthur,
who was sacked 16 days before the Trent Bridge test, had
alleged he was the victim of discrimination and was demanding
reinstatement or $A3.6 million ($NZ4.2 million) compensation.
Despite the narrow margin in Nottingham, England was a
deserved winner and James Anderson, at the height of his
powers, produced the decisive deliveries of the game to
account for two of his 10 wickets.
Anderson removed captain Michael Clarke in the first innings
with the perfect delivery, a ball which swung late into the
batsman then evaded the outside edge to hit the top of the
The second key wicket was the final ball of the match which
vice-captain Brad Haddin, whose gritty 71 had threatened to
snatch victory from England's grasp, edged to Matt Prior.
Australia will relish the sun and the surroundings at the
home of world cricket. To recover from one-down and regain
the Ashes, though, its top-order batting must fire and Usman
Khawaja may come in at No 3 to replace the out-of-form Ed
''He had a tough game,'' coach Darren Lehmann said.
''We've told Ed how we want him to play and how we want him
to bat. That certainly hasn't changed from when he first came
into the side.
''He'll be disappointed with the shots. So are we.
''We've certainly got to bat better as a top order, that's
probably the key. We're going to bowl very well and we know
we can control their batters. It's a matter of making more
Clarke, who enjoyed a wondrous 2012 with 1595 runs at an
average of precisely 106, failed in both innings after his
build-up was hampered by a chronic back ailment.
The only other Australian batsman of comparable pedigree is
the highly gifted but perennially frustrating Shane Watson,
who contributed 46 to a second-innings opening partnership of
Australia urgently needs an innings from Watson of a stature
to match his talent and Lord's would be the perfect setting
to shrug off the under-achiever's tag.
But he will be under even more pressure after it was reported
in Australia that Arthur had claimed Clarke had described his
former vice-captain as ''a cancer'' in the side.
Another option is to drop a batsman and play five specialist
bowlers, with off-spinner Nathan Lyon joining Ashton Agar.
Agar, who fell two short on his debut of becoming the first
No 11 in test history to make a century, took two for 82 from
35 overs in the second innings with his left-arm orthodox
In contrast to Australia's fragile top order, England's key
batsmen scored runs at critical times at Trent Bridge.
Jonathan Trott contributed 48 to his team's modest
first-innings 215 and captain Alastair Cook (50) laid a solid
foundation in the second with Kevin Pietersen (64).
The crucial innings came from Ian Bell, whose 109 in more
than six hours was perfectly calibrated for a sun-baked pitch
demanding concentration with its low, slow and sometimes
England has named the same 13-man squad for the test with the
final decision again resting between the pacemen Steven Finn,
Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions.
Second test, Lord's, from 10pm
The teams (from)
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan
Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior,
Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James
Anderson, Graham Onions.
Australia: Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan, Usman
Khawaja, Michael Clarke (captain), Phillip Hughes, Steve
Smith, Brad Haddin, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon,
Peter Siddle, James Pattinson.