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Ashes 2023: Can England Bounce Back?

Usman Khawaja Ashes Test Win
Usman Khawaja became the only second Australian player ever to bat on all five days of a Test match in Australia’s win of the First Test at the Ashes. Image: IMAGO/News Images/Mark Cosgrove

The first test match at Edgbaston more than lived up to the build-up. It was a perfect advertisement for test cricket, with the match going down to the wire.

Australia had the last laugh after England reduced them to 227 for 8 in a chase of 272. Nathan Lyon and his skipper Pat Cummins got together in a 55-run stand for the ninth wicket to get their team across the line.

Not surprisingly, there is fever pitch excitement ahead of the 2nd test beginning at Lords on Wednesday, 28 June 2023. Can England bounce back? Will they continue with ‘Bazball’ that has instilled freshness to England’s game.

Last England-Australia Encounter at Lord’s

Let’s look at how these teams fared when they last met at Lord’s in August 2019. The match got off to wet start with ran washing out the first day’s play.

Australia won the toss and elected to field. The decision appeared to pay off as the visitors managed to bowl out the hosts for 258. For Australia, Cummins, Hazlewood and Lyon took three wickets each. Burns and Bairstow hit 50s on a bowler-friendly wicket. England struck back to reduce Australia to 30/1 at the end of day two. After another rain-hit day, Australia finished the third day at 80/4 four. On day 4, England bowled out the tourists for 250. Broad (4/) was England’s best bowler, with Archer and Woakes taking 5 wickets between them. Australia’s innings was built around Steven Smith’s responsible knock of 92.

When day five began, England were 96/4 in a match that appeared heading for a tame draw. However, nobody had accounted for Ben Stokes. The England allrounder’s belligerent unbeaten knock of 116 enabled England to declare at lunch to set Australia a target of 267 on a tricky wicket.

Australia were reduced to 3/47 before Labuschagne and Head rescued them with an 84 run partnership. The match ended in a draw with the Australia scorecard reading 154/6.

England’s Most Recent Test at Lords

England hosted Ireland in a four-day test at Lords began on 1 June. England won the toss and chose to field first. Ireland were soon in trouble losing 3 wickets with only 63 runs on the scoreboard. 3/19. Then followed a brief resistance in the form of mini partnerships that helped take the score to 142/6.

However, the departure of Andy McBrine triggered a collapse and the visitors lost their last four wickets for only 30 runs. For England Broad took 5/51. A score of 172 was never going to be enough against a strong England batting line up. As things happened, the hosts piled up a score of 524/4 declared. Ben Duckett (182) and Ollie Pope (205) were the chief tormentors of the Irish bowlers.

In their second innings, Ireland got off to another horrendous start, losing 3 wickets for only 63 runs. Their woes were compounded due to the retired hurt absence of James McCollum. A late order resistance between McBrine (86 not out) and Mark Adair gave Ireland hope of saving the game. However, after Adair was caught behind off Potts, the tourists collapsed from the relative safety of 325/6 to be all out for 362. This time around, it was England seamer Josh Tongue’s turn to take a fifer.

Head-to-head Comparison at Lords

The historic h2h comparison between the sides in matches at Lord’s favours Australia. The traditional rivals have 37 times at the Mecca of cricket. Australia have on 15 occasions while England have emerged victorious on seven. The remaining 15 matches have ended without result.

Interestingly, England have four of the last eight tests played at the venue against Australia. However, their last win came back in July 2013.

Key Player to Watch

Australia’s star batter Steve Smith has had a brilliant run at Lord’s. In fact, no other visiting batsman has scored more runs at the venue. With 381 runs in four matches, Smith has scored at an average of 54.42. In his last three innings at cricket’s headquarters, Smith has made 92, 58 and 215.

Can England Win?

To find an affirmative answer to this question, England must rely on the performances of three key players:

Joe Root

Root has played 19 matches at Lord’s wherein he has scored 1680 runs at an average of 52.50. The runs include five centuries and six fifties. Root made his highest score (200 not out) at the venue versus Sri Lanka in the summer of 2014.

Stuart Broad

In 27 tests at Lord’s, Broad has scalped 108 victims at 27.42. His figures include a match haul of 10 wickets and three fifers.

James Anderson

With 117 wickets at Lord’s Anderson s the highest wicket-taker in test matches at the ground. Those wickets came at an average of 24.58. Though Anderson dd not enjoy the best of outings in the first test, England cannot ignore his Lord’s record.


On the one hand, we have world champions Australia. On the other hand, we have England who are arguably the most exciting test team of this time. Regardless of the result of the game, the test match at Lord’s promises an exciting contest.

Are you looking to bet on the Ashes series? You can check out our article on the best cricket betting sites in India to learn more.