It was a disappointing start by England at the Gabba, though Australia are always at their strongest in Brisbane. The second test takes place in Adelaide and will be a day-night match. This change up might favour the England bowlers after Brisbane did not meet expectation for bowlers.
The ten-wicket haul may have flattered Australia but no one can deny they deserved to win. Steve Smith had an incredible knock, something which the England batting lineup needs to learn from and replicate quickly.
The hurdles facing England don’t hold up in Adelaide. Australia have not lost in the city in the last six test matches played there. England, on the other hand, have won two of the six last played games at the ground. One interesting fact from the tests so far is that Australia have lost the last two tosses but still won the match. England should be wary of this if they win the toss and the decision is in their hands.
The stats are not looking good for England at the moment. The team who has won the first game in the last three Ashes has won the tournament. But this young England side is hoping to change this. Steve Smith is the one to watch for Australia having scored five centuries in his last nine games. If England can dismiss him early they might find a weaker side underneath.
In the highest scorer stakes, Smith is, of course, the favorite with the bookies. But David Warner is also batting well and might be a better Aussie alternative. On the England side, a lot of hope lies with Joe Root. James Vince got a commendable 83 which might just be the start of a hot streak and therefore could be good odds at 9/2 o be top Batsman for England.
Nathan Lyons put on an inspired display and caught all the right headlines after some poor early banter. He has 32 wickets in his last four test matches and will be eyeing Adelaide as a chance to stamp his authority on the whole series. It is left-handers that particularly struggle against him and so does not bode well for Alistair Cook to get some big runs in the series.
The day-night configuration of the match might help the seamers more than the spinners and if England want to get back into the series they will need their bowlers to start notching big wickets. James Anderson is the key man for the job for England and has form in Adelaide with four wickets in the first innings in this fixture in 2010. Unibet has him at the best price of 37/20 to be the lion’s best bowler again.
England need to make an improvement over last weeks effort. Stopping Steve Smith is vital to achieving this and also making sure Nathan Lyons doesn’t get his own way on the wicket. England will need James Anderson to get the wickets, but they simply need huge innings from someone to truly show that they are capable of competing at this level. It is a young side and Joe Root is a rookie captain so no one is expecting miracles but the frustrating element is that we know they can do better.
At 11/4 my patriotic side thinks it could be worth a bet, but with two sides on different ends of the confidence spectrum it is likely Australia will once again overrun this England side. Bookies think so too and odds on Australia winning stands at 8/13 with William Hill.