Not long to go then for the second Ashes test which starts on December 5 at The Adelaide Oval in Southern Australia.
England have played their warm-up against a Chairman's XI, a game that gave Flower a chance to look at some of the young players. To be honest; Bairstow, Ballance and Stokes impressed, as did Panesar. The first question that arises for England then is who will they play in place of Trott and another question is how to tackle Johnson.
The Adelaide Oval pitch as told by the curator would support the fast bowlers on the first two days and afterwards will become very good to bat. However, the pitch could favour the spinners as the match enters the fourth and fifth days.
First of all, the toss would be very important mainly because of the assistance that seamers would get on the opening two days, however the drop-in pitch suggests that it might be a nice batting wicket. This leaves both captains with a tough choice to make before the match has even started.
For England, even if they win the toss and if they bowl out Australia for something below 250, then will they be able to bat well? In the first test, England didn’t even score 350 runs in both innings. Improvement is therefore greatly required.
Though, the talks of England’s comeback in the series have been ubiquitous and rightly so because of the class they possess. Also, Cook and his men would try to derive some confidence form they way they performed last time around at Adelaide when they won by an innings with Cook scoring 148 and Kevin Pietersen scoring 227.
It is likely that Bell will bat at three, a position that he is very good at; Root would then take Bell’s position and rest of the order should remain same for England. Though no one can tell yet that will England go with another batsman or will they take another bowler to fill Trott’s place.
The English bowlers on the other hand would try and target Warner with the new ball because if he settles in, then he can completely demolish the opponent. Clarke too would be targeted mainly because he is the one who can single-handedly take the game by the scruff of the neck and he is the one around whom the other batsmen have scored runs
Talking about Australia now, they really have no worries going into the second test because of the fact that they did everything near-perfectly at The Gabba. Their squad as announced will remain the same for the Second test and they would look to build on the impressive first test performance.
But, they also would have to make sure that they don't step into the Adelaide Oval too over confident as England will no doubt be looking to bounce back after the shambolic first test display. A wounded animal is a very dangerous one indeed.
Squad: England (potential) - Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Panesar, Finn. Australia: Same as first test.
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