Ashes 2019: England's second Test against Australia in Opta numbers

By Sports Desk August 13, 2019

It was advantage Australia in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston earlier this month.

Steve Smith was in inspired form with knocks of 144 and 142 as England, who had started well, were beaten by a humbling 251 runs.

Joe Root's men will be determined to bounce back and that opportunity will arrive this week as the second Test begins. 

We bring you the key Opta numbers ahead of the clash at Lord's, which starts on Wednesday.

 

14 - It is 14 years since England last lost the opener in an Ashes series and went on to claim the urn.

7 - Australia are now unbeaten in their previous seven Tests against England, winning six of those matches.

4 - Both these sides have strong recent records at Lord's. England have won four of their past five Tests there, while Australia have lost just two of their most recent 21 Ashes encounter at the ground.

2 - England have lost consecutive home Ashes Tests, although Australia last won three on the bounce away from home in 2001.

2008 - The last time England lost consecutive home Tests at all came in a pair of matches against South Africa in 2008.

8 - Test debutant Jofra Archer has not played first-class cricket since last September, but his only previous first-class appearance at Lord's saw him take 8-103.

76 - Smith is a man in form and has now scored at least 76 runs in his past six Test innings against England.

139 - Smith's nine Ashes knocks since the start of the 2017-18 series have seen him average an incredible 139.

9.8 - Chris Woakes has the third-best rate of any seamer at a single venue in Test cricket, with 24 wickets at an average of 9.8 at Lord's.

Related items

  • Shield match abandoned due to unsafe MCG wicket ahead of Boxing Day Test Shield match abandoned due to unsafe MCG wicket ahead of Boxing Day Test

    A dangerous pitch has forced the MCG's final match before the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand to be cancelled in Melbourne on Sunday.

    Preparations for the December 26 Test were thrown into chaos after the Sheffield Shield clash between Victoria and Western Australia was suspended on Saturday.

    Umpires decided to call off day one of the match due to an unsafe wicket, after Western Australia batsmen Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were struck multiple times amid unpredictable bounce.

    Cricket Australia (CA) released a statement, ensuring there will be a wicket of "international standard" ready for the Boxing Day blockbuster as organisers and curators were left scrambling.

    The teams returned on Sunday but after a morning inspection it was agreed for the match to be abandoned, despite extensive work from the ground staff.

    While a different strip will be used for the Australia-New Zealand Test, it has sparked cause for concern ahead of the trans-Tasman fixture.

    "We won't be losing the Boxing Day Test," Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula said. "I understand there is disappointment about the Shield match being abandoned but I've spoken to Stuart Fox [Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive] yesterday and today.

    "The wicket being used for the Boxing Day Test is a different wicket to the one used yesterday and I've got no doubt that by the time we get to Boxing Day in a couple of weeks from now the wicket will be in perfect order for a Test match."

    "I applaud the MCC for trying to prepare a wicket with more life in it," Pakula added. "It has been criticised in recent years for being too favourable to batsmen. The club is trying to find more balance between batting and bowling and they will keep working on that not just this year but in years ahead."

    Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Alistair Nicholson added: "The right decision has been made. When player safety comes into it there's no debate from our point of view."

    The opening Test between Australia and New Zealand starts in Perth on December 12.

  • Fabian Allen retained for Pakistan Super League as big-name Windies players axed Fabian Allen retained for Pakistan Super League as big-name Windies players axed

    Many of the big-name West Indies T20 players, including Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, have been axed from their teams in the Pakistan Super League ahead of its February 2020 start during Saturday’s draft in Lahore.

  • Solskjaer battles back from the brink to leave City's title defence in ruins Solskjaer battles back from the brink to leave City's title defence in ruins

    As the Christmas season unofficially began on December 1, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked anything but merry.

    Manchester United had been held to a 2-2 draw at home by promoted Aston Villa and the Red Devils' performance was utterly rancid for much of the game. Solskjaer appeared helpless at full-time.

    Ahead of a particularly bleak run of mid-winter fixtures, reports suggested Solskjaer could join Santa in expecting to be burdened with the sack for Christmas. Two games to save his job, some said, with Mauricio Pochettino looming large.

    Those two matches; Jose Mourinho's Tottenham and Manchester City in the derby – it wasn't the sleigh bells that were ringing. 

    Some might have been content with two points, yet they've managed to take six and left City's title defence in tatters after a 2-1 win over the champions.

    Much of the build-up was dominated by 'we're back' talk among both sets of supporters. City had crushed Burnley comprehensively, while United produced arguably their best display under Solskjaer in a 2-1 win over Tottenham.

    Saturday's performance left no such room for argument – it was undoubtedly the greatest of his tenure. 

    So much of the Norwegian's time at the helm has been mired by worryingly erratic form – one week they barely manage to salvage a draw against Villa, showing a concerning lack of desire, and then follow that up with a genuinely laudable performance at home to a resurgent Spurs.

    Such inconsistency has understandably led to questions over Solskjaer's game-management, with United frequently struggling against opposition that sit back despite boasting a solid record of only two defeats in 11 meetings with 'big-six' opponents and Leicester City before the derby.

    Solskjaer did little wrong on Saturday, however.

    A devastating first half an hour showed just how good this United team can be, particularly going forward.

    The fluid front three of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial was electric, while the much-maligned Jesse Lingard showed the kind of technique and drive not seen from him for a long, long time.

    United's strengths are by no means a secret – they are blessed with immense pace in attack and are at their best hitting teams on the counter.

    City fell into a trap entirely of United's making.

    The midfield pair of Scott McTominay and Fred sat extremely deep, while the front four also dropped well back, essentially becoming a second midfield. As such, the gap between United's defence and attack was often minimal, allowing them to break as a unit.

    The dynamism and agility of United's attack was plain to see for both goals – firstly Rashford driving into the box and winning the penalty that he converted, before James and Martial linked for the Frenchman's well-worked goal.

    But United's effectiveness was about more than just three players running really, really fast. Defensively they had several players who were imperious.

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka dealt with Raheem Sterling impressively, making five tackles and seven clearances in a fine display, while McTominay was similarly impressive. The Scotland international won possession back via three tackles, three interceptions and came out on top in 81.3 per cent of the 16 duels he was involved in.

    Added to that, Fred enjoyed his best match for United, creating two chances and showing a general awareness that could rarely be associated with the Brazilian previously. On this evidence, you can begin to understand why Pep Guardiola had been so keen to bring him to City.

    City's second-half desperation predictably saw United come under pressure and, for a moment it looked like the Red Devils would yet again cave and throw away a lead after Nicolas Otamendi pulled one back.

    But it wasn't to be.

    While reservations over Solskjaer's suitability for the role will remain as long as his team continue to falter against teams they should beat, there's no doubt in his ability to squeeze every last drop out of his players in the big games.

    And in the biggest of matches, United rose to the occasion to leave City 14 points adrift of the summit, their title hopes torn to shreds like so much festive wrapping paper. 

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.