As the 2023 Ashes Series resumes on Wednesday, England will be looking to bounce back at Lords.
On the back of a damaging defeat to Australia in the First Test at Edgbaston, the hosts must respond at the Home of Cricket.
In an opening contest that more than delivered on pre-series hype, the World Test champions scrambled home by 2 wickets.
Pat Cummins‘ side now need just two more wins to not only retain the urn once again but notch a rare series win in England.
Can Bazball shine in the capital?
Tourists edged to extend
Not only are Ben Stokes‘ side now in adversity, England are also tasked with battling history.
Wednesday’s sees the 33rd time Lords has hosted a Ashes game.
Having revelled on the slope, The Baggy Greens dominate with 15 wins to England’s rather meagre three.
Given the drama the opening Test supplied, memories of 2005 have come flooding back, and the hosts will look to that for encouragement.
Victims to another Glen McGrath masterclass 18 years back, England bounced back to level the series and are 8/5 with BetUK to repeat.
After the withdrawal of Jack Leach from squad due to injury before the Ashes, seeing Moeen Ali sustain a finger issue at Edgbaston was the last thing the hosts needed.
As Nathan Lyon took combined figures of 8-229, the spin factor on unseasonably dry wickets may become a decisive factor this summer.
But with overcast conditions forecast this week and swing and seam set to dominate, can Ashes debutante Josh Tongue make an impact in St. Johns Wood?
Selected in favour of Renan Ahmed, the 25-year-old made his international bow against Ireland earlier this month.
A perhaps surprising inclusion, Tongue’s 5-56 at Lords may have swung the argument, and it appears to have won out.
After a rather blunted show from James Anderson and Ollie Robinson last time out, could Tongue star?
The Worcestershire right-arm quickie is 3/1 with William Hill to be Top English bowler.
Khawaja the form horse
For the Aussies, Usman Khawaja finally proved his ability away from home as the opener grabbed his first ton on English soil.
Capping two years of consistent form, the Pakistan-born number two with former spells at Derbyshire, Glamorgan and Lancashire shone at Edgbaston.
Named Man of the Match for a first innings knock of 141, both the ever-obdurate Steve Smith and Travis Head were support acts.
Though Khawaja struggled at Lords in 2019 with a best of 36, he is very much the in-form man for the tourists.
Looking at the markets for Top 1st innings Aussie Run Scorer in London, Khawaja is a decently-valued 9/2, again with ‘Hills.