Ashes 2019: Langer calls on 'lucky' Australia to focus ahead of Lord's Test

By Sports Desk August 12, 2019

Justin Langer was delighted with Australia's victory at Edgbaston but insists they must remain focused on winning the Ashes ahead of the second Test of the series.

Steve Smith inspired Australia to a 251-run victory by scoring centuries in both innings of the opening Test, putting them 1-0 up with four matches to play.

Australia will look to double their lead at Lord’s this week, with the second Test beginning on Wednesday.

England will be without James Anderson, who is out with a calf injury, with Jofra Archer expected to deputise in place of the Lancashire seamer.

Langer believes Anderson's absence is a huge boost, with his side knowing they had a huge slice of fortune in the previous Test.

"We're really pleased to win the first Test but we didn't come here to win the first Test. We're here to win the Ashes, so we're going to focus," Langer told a news conference on Monday.

"We're very aware England will have to play without James Anderson, he's their best player, so we're well aware of that.

"We got lucky, that's the truth of it, with him not playing. He's a brilliant fast bowler. He only bowled four overs and we got lucky there.

"We're aware of that. This is a different Test, different conditions and we have to be ready for that."

Archer's likely Test debut is the big story for England heading into the game, with Langer fascinated to see how the 24-year-old performs.

"I'm really curious and interested to see how he goes. He's not played a lot of red-ball cricket, he's played mainly white-ball cricket," Langer said of the pace bowler.

"Obviously he's an incredible athlete, but Test cricket is very different than white-ball cricket. Our plans will be exactly the same though.

"We've seen what a good cricketer he is. We'll respect him and like I said I'm curious to see how he does in red-ball cricket. Hopefully we have the answers to what he dishes up.

"Most of our guys have seen him before. It'll be up to the individuals, not so much our gameplan against him. It'll be the same for all of the bowlers. That's significant not only for this match but also the whole series.

"With every Test cricketer, the question is if they've got the mental toughness, the physicality to play well in Test cricket. It's not just him, it's the same for the 22 guys out there."

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