Amidst all the banter and controversies between England and Australia, the second Ashes Test gets underway at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. However, this encounter promises to be an intriguing one as it will be the first Ashes Test which will be played under lights. While England have generally equipped themselves quite well in Adelaide the pink ball might just turn the tide in favour of the Kangaroos. After an emphatic win at Brisbane, Australian coach Darren Lehmann labelled the wicket under lights the fastest in the country. The likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also have formidable records with the pink ball, while Pat Cummins will add more steel to the lethal pace attack. Hence, the advantage will lie with the home team as the Kangaroos aim to tame the Three Lions at home.
However, the same conditions might favour the visitors as James Anderson and Stuart Broad will look to make the best use of the conditions that are available on offer. But the concerns in the English camp surround the form of their leading batsmen. Both Alastair Cook and Joe Root failed to notch up any big scores in the first Test. Added to that is Root’s consistent troubles with lbw ‘s which rival skipper Steve Smith has identified. Injury to Moeen Ali is another cause of a headache for the English camp as he remains unsure of his place in the side. His absence will certainly be a huge void on the English side.
Meanwhile, the games at the Adelaide Oval have been generally low scoring affairs. The average first innings score is 386 while in the fourth it plummets to 213. Hence, whichever side wins the toss will surely look to bat first to avoid the pressure of batting on the fourth and fifth day – that too under lights.
Australia Squad: Steven Smith (c), Tim Paine (wk), Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers England Squad:Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Craig Overton, Tom Curran
England Squad: Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Craig Overton, Tom Curran