Australia took four late wickets amid a devastating spell with the ball to grab a stronghold on their way to sealing the Ashes after England had fought back on day two of the third Test at the MCG.

Mitchell Starc claimed the scalps of Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan in successive balls before Victorian debutant Scott Boland had Haseeb Hameed caught behind and bowled Jack Leach to leave the visitors reeling.

England were 31-4 at stumps, trailing by 51 runs as Australia, who lead the series 2-0, look to clinch the Ashes in Melbourne. Joe Root (12*) and Ben Stokes (2*) will resume at the crease on day three.

The visitors had rallied to keep the Boxing Day Test alive, having dismissed Australia for 267 led by veteran James Anderson with 4-33.

All this after drama forced the resumption of play to be delayed after a coronavirus scare within the England camp, before all the players were cleared for an 11am local start.

Australia had resumed at 61-1 after England were all out for 185 on the first day. Marcus Harris resumed at the crease and top scored with 76 on his home deck.

England had made good inroads into the Australia batting order at 110-4, dismissing number one Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne for 1 and vice-captain Steve Smith for 16 from Chris Wood (71-2) and Anderson respectively.

Harris was the only Australian to score more than 40, with Travis Head (27) getting a start before falling to Ollie Robinson (64-2), who had a hamstring scare but played on.

England appeared set for a nominal first-innings deficit before a late cameo from Starc (24*) and captain Pat Cummins (21) opened up an 82-run lead.

However, Australia turned the game in a stunning final 45 minutes with Cummins almost having Crawley caught behind for a duck when Alex Carey botched a chance, before the English opener went in the next over to Starc (11-2).

Starc trapped Malan lbw next ball despite a review, before Boland was introduced to the attack, having Hameed caught by Carey before clean bowling Leach two balls later.

Starc misses rare Boxing Day hat-trick

Starc almost claimed the first Boxing Day Test Ashes hat-trick since Shane Warne in 1994 when he dismissed Crawley and Malan in successive deliveries. England skipper Root survived a close call on the hat-trick ball which had the MCG crowd on their feet as it whizzed past the bat.

Local hero fires up crowd

Local debutant Boland only managed one wicket in the first innings but received great support from his home crowd during his brief batting innings before a double strike with his only over after being thrown the ball late in the day.

England's hopes of levelling the Ashes in the second Test appear to be all but over after Australia's stand-in captain Steve Smith declared at 473-9 on Friday.

Australia were sitting pretty at 221-2 at the end of day one in Adelaide and picked up where they left off, with Smith and a wagging tail cashing in as the tourists flagged.

England subsequently went into bat after a mammoth 150 overs in the field, looking exhausted and embarrassed as they begrudgingly attempted to chip away at a surely unassailable total, losing both openers cheaply to reach 17-2 at stumps.

Australia did not have it all their own way, though.

Marnus Labuschagne (103) raised his bat with a boundary early on to seal his first Ashes century, but the wickets did soon fall.

Ollie Robinson trapped Labuschagne lbw before Joe Root (1-72) and Ben Stokes (3-113) sent Travis Head (18) and Cameron Green (2) back to the pavilion. Australia were 303-5 at lunch, giving England reason for optimism.

However, Smith (93) – skippering in the absence of Pat Cummins – kept plugging away until he was eventually halted by James Anderson just short of his century. The same England bowler then took the wicket of Alex Carey (51) in his next over.

Yet the final hour or so of Australia's innings proved brutal as their tail swung into action. Mitchell Starc hit 39 not out from as many balls and Michael Neser reached 35 off 24, giving the hosts a real injection towards the end.

Smith's declaration was timed to minimise the length of England's break after a gruelling fielding session, and the tourists lost Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed in the first seven overs.

Play was abandoned due to a looming electrical storm, the rain presumably a welcome arrival for Joe Root's men.

Robinson makes Australia work

While the second Test has largely been tricky for England thus far, Robinson certainly showed some class with the ball as he recorded figures of 1-45, somewhat miserly compared to the rest of the England attack.

Every other England bowler afforded Australia more runs despite only Anderson presiding over more than Robinson's 27 overs, with Chris Woakes and Stokes each conceding over 100 runs.

Smith tides the hosts over

After the excellent early work of David Warner (95) and Labuschagne on Thursday, things could have fallen apart on day two, but Smith ensured the boat was not rocked.

His 93 off 201 deliveries was steady and patient, precisely what Australia needed. While Head and Green did not have quite the same impact, Smith's showing at least allowed the likes of Carey, Starc and Neser to go into bat with a little less pressure, and they certainly made the most of that.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been included in England's 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

The pair's omission for the opening match raised eyebrows and came under further scrutiny after the tourists slumped to a nine-wicket loss as Australia seized the upper hand in Brisbane.

But both are in contention as England seek to level the series in the first of two day-night Tests, with the final selection to be confirmed at the toss on Thursday.

Anderson is his country's leading wicket-taker in Tests with 632, while Broad – who is one shy of 150 Test caps – has 524.

Spinner Jack Leach, who endured a torrid outing as he gave up 102 runs in 13 overs at the Gabba, retains his place in the squad, while seamer Mark Wood has been rested.

Any lingering fears over the fitness of Ben Stokes, who jarred his knee in the field during the opening Test, appear to have been put to rest with his inclusion.

Joe Root's side face a tough task, with Australia boasting a 100 per cent record in day-night Tests.

England squad: Joe Root, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

Australia have a 100 per cent record in day-night Tests and another victory at Adelaide Oval will leave England's hopes of regaining the Ashes hanging by a thread.

The tourists made a nightmare start to the series at the Gabba, slumping to a nine-wicket defeat after Joe Root had won the toss and opted to bat first on a green pitch under cloudy skies.

England were rolled over for only 147 on day one in Brisbane after Rory Burns lost his off stump to the first ball of the match from Mitchell Starc.

Captain Root (89) and Dawid Malan (82) showed some resistance in the second innings after Travis Head had made the third-fastest Ashes century, but another collapse left Australia with the straightforward task of chasing 20 to go 1-0 up.

Pat Cummins could not have wished for a much better start to his reign as Test skipper, taking 5-38 on the opening day as England crumbled meekly.

The Australia attack will be licking their lips at the prospect of doing more damage with the pink ball in Adelaide, where they will be hunting what would be a sixth win in seven matches in the longest format in Adelaide.

No side has a better record than Australia's eight out of eight in day-night Tests, while England have lost three day-nighters out of four and their only victory was against West Indies in 2017.

Stats Perform looks at some of the selection issues both sides will be weighing up and picks out where the second Test, which starts on Thursday, could be won and lost.

Anderson and Broad to shine under the lights?

Eyebrows were raised in the Australia camp and far beyond when both James Anderson and Stuart Broad were left out for the first Test.

With 1,156 Test wickets between them, the pace-bowling stalwarts would have been rubbing their hands together at the prospect of racing in at the start of the series but watched on as Australia's bowlers had a field day.

Broad should be back in for his 150th Test and Anderson will surely return under the lights.

The selectors face a tough call when deciding who to leave out as Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes came out the first Test with credit, while spinner Jack Leach endured a chastening start to the series.

 

Hazlewood injury forces Australia into at least one change

Australia will be without Josh Hazlewood after he suffered a side strain in Brisbane and Jhye Richardson is the favourite to replace him.

Hazlewood took 5-8 when Australia bowled India out for an embarrassing 36 last December, but either Richardson or Michael Neser will get a chance to exploit England's vulnerability with the bat.

Richardson has taken 23 wickets in four Sheffield Shield matches this season at an average of 13.43 and looks primed to make his Ashes bow in what would be his third Test.

Australia are hopeful David Warner is fit to open after he took a couple of blows to the ribs in the opening Test.

Ricky Ponting predicted England's Ashes situation could look extremely bleak if they do not bounce back in the second Test in Adelaide.

Australia cruised to a thumping nine-wicket victory at The Gabba on Saturday, as England's good work on day three was totally undone.

Nathan Lyon led the way for Australia in the morning session, taking four wickets and bringing up his 400th in Test cricket. England managed just 77 runs as they surrendered their last eight wickets, taking them to a total of 297, having begun day four on 220-2.

Australia were set 20 runs for victory and easily reached the total following lunch, despite the loss of Alex Carey.

Mitchell Starc's dismissal of Rory Burns with the very first ball in Brisbane rather set the tone for a Test in which England were always behind the eight-ball, and former Australia skipper Ponting believes there could be a similar outcome to the hosts' 5-0 triumph in the 2006-07 series.

 

Having ended Australia's eight-series winning streak with victory in 2005, England went Down Under with a point to prove 18 months later, but Ponting's side cruised to a series whitewash.

Indeed, England have not won a Test in Australia since they triumphed 3-1 in the 2010-11 series, suffering 5-0 and 4-0 defeats in their subsequent trips.

After the day-night Test in Adelaide, the series goes to Melbourne, Sydney and then finishes in Hobart, which has replaced Perth as the final venue.

"The conditions are only going to get better for Australia," former Test captain Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"Those conditions [in Brisbane] were very English-like. There was more pace and bounce but as far as their bowling is concerned, they're probably not going to get that much movement anywhere else for the entire series.

"We saw them bowl really well on the last tour in Adelaide under lights where everything just fell perfectly into place – Australia had to bat for a session, the lights were on, brand-new ball, clear night.

"We've also been to Adelaide at other times when the pink ball has done nothing, whether it's a new ball or not. If they don't win in Adelaide then there could be shades of '06-07."

Though Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood bowled well in Brisbane, eyebrows were raised by England's decision to leave out both Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

Such surprise was a sentiment shared by Ponting.

"I can't see why they would have left them [Broad and Anderson] out if they weren't just getting them prepped and ready for Adelaide," said Ponting.

"I'm still staggered to this point now. If Stuart Broad and James Anderson are not better bowlers in Australia than Chris Woakes, then I'm not here. One of those two had to play.

"It might be that they're only going to play one of Broad or Anderson in Adelaide. A lot of it might just depend on how [Ben] Stokes pulls up between now and the start of the Adelaide game."

Mitchell Starc was surprised to see both James Anderson and Stuart Broad left out as England were skittled for 147 on the opening day of the Ashes.

Starc, whose selection for Australia came under some scrutiny, dismissed Rory Burns with the very first ball of the series at the Gabba on Wednesday, setting the tone for a dismal day for the tourists.

New captain Pat Cummins took 5-38 as Australia dominated, with bad light and rain preventing the hosts from starting their chase after tea.

On a green pitch in overcast conditions, Australia's bowling attack thrived, and it seemed the ideal situation in which Broad and Anderson, who have played 315 Tests between them, would have been at their best.

However, neither bowler was selected in the team for the first Test, so the tourists went into the match without pace bowlers who have collected a combined 1,156 Test wickets.

"I'm not sure if you told anyone a couple of days ago that was going to happen that they would have believed you," Starc, who finished with figures of 2-35, told reporters.

"To take 300 Test matches and 1,000 wickets out of their side is pretty interesting.

"I'm glad I don't have to pick any sides, let alone that one, or tap those two on the shoulder and let them know they're not playing."

Starc's comments might have rubbed salt into Joe Root's wounds - the England captain having elected to bat after winning the toss.

Ollie Pope was one of just two batsmen to make it above 30, along with Jos Buttler, and while conceding the odds are already stacked against England, he believes all is not lost.

"It was a disappointing start especially, so there was frustration that we haven't been able to put on the big score we wanted," Pope told a news conference.

"The pitch did offer a fair bit early, especially off the seam so we are frustrated as a unit. It's a long tour, a long series and we're going to keep the spirits high and come out fighting tomorrow.

"Looking at the wicket, it did offer today and wasn't the easiest to score on. You don't know with wickets until both teams have batted on them. I think this pitch gets quicker and keeps carrying.

"It was quite tacky so it made some dents in the middle of the wicket. It'll be interesting if that opens up. We've definitely got the skill set in our bowlers to drag it back and go big second dig."

Jonny Bairstow has been left out of England's 12-man squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia.

The 32-year-old, who is on his third Ashes tour, struggled during last weekend's warm-up against England Lions and has lost his place in the side.

Ollie Pope is instead preferred to Bairstow in the middle order for the match at the Gabba in Brisbane, which begins on Wednesday.

England had announced earlier on Tuesday that paceman James Anderson is "fit" but will not play a part in the first Test as a precaution.

Spinner Jack Leach is included in the squad, as is Ben Stokes, whose last meaningful cricket came back in July.

Visiting England, who are looking to reclaim the urn from Australia's grip, will name their final XI at the toss.

Australia named their starting XI last week, with Travis Head getting the nod over Usman Khawaja in one of the big selection calls made by Pat Cummins.

England have won two of their last three Tests against Australia – including a 135-run win when they last met, though they are winless in their last 10 away Tests to Australia (D1, L9) having last won in the country in January 2011.

Joe Root's England have lost six of their last nine Tests heading into this series (W1 D2) and have lost their last three Tests away from home. The last time they lost more consecutive away Tests was a seven-game stretch from November 2016 to December 2017.

 

England squad for first Ashes Test: Joe Root (c), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has returned to England's squad for the fifth and final Test against India, which starts at Old Trafford on Friday.

Buttler missed the fourth Test, a 157-run loss to India at The Oval, to be present at the birth of his second child.

Jonny Bairstow took over wicketkeeping duties in Buttler's absence as England went 2-1 down in the five-match series.

Sam Billings, who was included in the squad for the fourth Test squad as cover for Bairstow, has now returned to Kent.

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach is also named in the 16-man party for the match.

He was in England's squad for the first two Tests against India but not selected, and has not featured in a Test match since March.

Leach would give England captain Joe Root another spin option alongside Moeen Ali.

Fast bowler Mark Wood, who has returned from a shoulder injury, and left-arm seamer Sam Curran, dropped for the fourth Test, are both available.

England coach Chris Silverwood acknowledged that, with James Anderson and Ollie Robinson having toiled at The Oval, he may need to freshen up a fatigued attack.

"We have got some aching bodies, I'm not going to deny that," Silverwood said.

"So we obviously have to keep an eye on that. He [Wood] could come back and if he does, he will obviously add that pace for us.

"If the pitch is abrasive as it usually is at Old Trafford there should be reverse swing."

Lancashire seamer Anderson, England's record wicket-taker, would be loathe to miss out on playing at his home ground.

Silverwood acknowledged that with a short turnaround between Tests he will need to have a discussion with the 39-year-old over his fitness. 

"James knows his own body. He will certainly give me an honest opinion of where he is at, and it's certainly something I will listen to," Silverwood explained.

"It'll be a discussion that he and I will have together. He will have input into that, without a shadow of a doubt.

"I know what it's like, he won't want to miss any cricket. We have to make sure we look after him.

"Although there is a gap between the final Test and what's in front of him, he's certainly someone I want to make sure is looked after."

England squad for the fifth Test against India at Old Trafford:  Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England took complete control of their third Test with India after bowling out their opponents for just 78 on day one at Headingley and replying with 120-0.

The tourists, leading 1-0 in the series and seeking back-to-back Test wins in England for just a second time, were wiped out in just over 40 overs after electing to bat first.

Virat Kohli's side surrendered their last six wickets for 30 and England made a more-that-steady start to their reply by the end of play on Wednesday thanks to Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed.

Star man James Anderson got England off to a flier as he picked up three wickets for the loss of six runs in his opening spell of eight overs, dismissing KL Rahul (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and Kohli (7) in quick succession.

India were in trouble at 21-3 and, while they were given temporary respite by Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, the latter was soon sent packing by Ollie Robinson for 18. 

Robinson picked up from where he left off after lunch with the wicket of Rishabh Pant, who edged straight into the hands of Jos Buttler for just two runs.

That was Buttler's fifth catch and England were not finished there as Craig Overton, in for Mark Wood, got Sharma – India's top scorer with 19 runs – caught trying an awkward pull shot.

Mohammed Shami was then caught at third slip by Rory Burns for a golden duck, before Sam Curran got Ravi Jadeja (4) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) both out lbw.

Mohammed Siraj (3) was the last to fall for a shocked India, the ball coming off his bat and landing in the hands of Joe Root at slip, leaving India with their ninth-lowest total in Test history.

England had the chance to get some runs on the board before the end of play and their batters steadily backed up their bowlers' hard work.

Burns and Hameed produced an unbroken century stand for the first wicket to give England a lead of 42.

Burns reached 52 by the close of play – his 10th Test half-century – and partner Hameed will resume at 60 not out on Thursday as England look to close in on an emphatic victory to level the series.

 

Headingley horror for India

India posted their third-lowest total against England with 78 runs and their lowest since 1974 when skittled for 42 at Lord's.

It was India's third-lowest score ever after electing to bat first, meanwhile, behind the 76 they managed against South Africa in 2008 and 75 against the West Indies in 1987.

England were rampant and Anderson in particular was in inspired form, setting the tone early on. Buttler also deserves special praise as he took five catches in an innings for a second time, previously doing so against the West Indies in 2015.

Hameed steps up on return to top two

Burns and Hameed refused to be budged as England became only the third side in Test history to bowl out the opposition and end day one in the lead with both openers still in play.

That is the 22nd new opening partnership used by England in the past nine years, with Hameed opening the batting in Test cricket for the first time since 2016 after jumping the order following Dawid Malan's recall.

Both men faced more than 100 balls but looked comfortable for large parts, with England's opening partnership registering a century at home for only the third time in five years.

Joe Root again came to the rescue as England threatened to squander the foothold James Anderson's five-wicket haul had gained them against India on Friday.

Led by Anderson (5-62), some excellent work with the ball allowed England to begin their reply in the second session on day two of the second Test at Lord's, despite India having resumed on 276-3.

KL Rahul was gone early, adding just two as he departed for 129, and only Rishabh Pant (37) and Ravindra Jadeja (40) offered any serious resistance thereafter as the tourists were all out for 364.

England made it to 23 without loss before Mohammed Siraj removed Dom Sibley and Haseeb Hameed from consecutive balls to prompt a battling Root display, during which he passed Graham Gooch to go second on his country's list for Test runs. He was 48 not out with his team 119-3 at stumps.

The captain's knock, aided by 49 from Rory Burns, ensured England remained in contention at the end of a promising day, despite Siraj's spell.

India had quickly set about undoing their hard work on Thursday as the long-awaited wicket of Rahul went to Ollie Robinson from the second ball, before Ajinkya Rahane then followed to Anderson in the next over.

The tourists did then threaten to build a third big partnership until another timely intervention when Pant paid for his aggressive approach, swiping at a Mark Wood delivery that carried into Jos Buttler's gloves – again, one became two, with Mohammed Shami's jaunt to the crease a brief one.

It fell to Anderson to wrap up the innings, trapping Ishant Sharma lbw, earning a nick behind off Jasprit Bumrah's glove to complete his five-for and then getting underneath a wild Jadeja swing off the bowling of Wood.

England started steadily enough in reply, only to have Sibley pick out Rahul at short mid-wicket soon after tea.

The recalled Hameed departed quickly to a straight one to bring out Root, who teased two wasted reviews out of opposite number Virat Kohli before settling in to put on an 84-run partnership with Burns – a stand that was eventually broken when the opener went lbw.

Ageless Anderson

Anderson was supposed to be injured, of course, but did not show it in a typically influential outing. His 31st five-for was his seventh at Lord's, tying Trent Bridge for his favourite ground in this sense.

And, at 39 years and 14 days, Anderson became the oldest pace bowler to take five wickets in a Test innings since 1951. Only New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee, against England in July 1990, had also taken five at the age of 39 in the intervening period.

Root reaches second

With 48 here, Root moves ahead of Gooch (8,900) and now trails only Alastair Cook (12,472). The England captain has scored 1,000 or more runs against five Test nations, but India (2,011) tops the list of opponents.

This track record clearly played on Kohli's mind in the final session as he twice reviewed for lbw when on both occasions he might have held fire against another player in the England side.

KL Rahul controlled day one of the second Test at Lord's, helping India move into a commanding position after being put in amid gloomy conditions by England captain Joe Root.

England had James Anderson to call on at the start of the second Test despite concerns over a thigh injury, but another fine spell from the veteran pace bowler provided only brief respite.

Rohit Sharma dug in to make 83 before Anderson (2-52) was able to intervene, while losing Cheteshwar Pujara (nine) did not disrupt Rahul en route to reaching 127 not out.

After pairing with Rohit to put on 126, the opener added 117 with Virat Kohli (42) and was still unbeaten as India reached stumps on 276-3, albeit having by that stage lost their skipper to Ollie Robinson.

The London cloud cover should have made the tourists work, yet rain delays denied England any early momentum and Rohit instead brought up a patient half-century after lunch, India reaching three figures without too many alarms.

Typically, it was Anderson who then provided the much-needed breakthrough, getting a sublime ball to nip back in and clip the top of Rohit's off stump.

Anderson continued to apply the pressure and Pujara survived an lbw review and a narrow escape through the slips. However, when his edge was found again, Jonny Bairstow claimed a simple catch.

India regrouped at tea, however, and the weather cleared to allow Rahul – passing the hundred mark with a four through third man – and captain Kohli to bat late into the final session.

The second new ball and an Anderson-Robinson attack turned up the heat just a little and Kohli edged to opposite number Root, but that dismissal did little to alter the complexion of the day or, seemingly, the match while England's desperation saw another review squandered in the closing stages.

Anderson at the fore again

England have depth in their bowling attack, but they also have plenty of injuries. If Anderson had missed out too, this testing day could have been considerably worse for the hosts.

In his 164th Test, Anderson proved as reliable as ever to offer a glimmer of hope, before Robinson (1-47) finally got in on the act, adding a wicket to the side's most economical bowling figures (2.04 runs per over).

Rahul relishes opportunity

India's batsmen rather failed to build on a promising start in their opening innings of the drawn series opener at Trent Bridge. This time, asked to have a go in conditions that should have suited England's bowlers, they excelled.

Rohit minimised the risks but still tallied 11 fours and a six, before Rahul showed off the wealth of talent India have to offer. He may not even have played if not for Mayank Agarwal's injury yet moved through the gears in impressive fashion to secure a place on the famous honours board from his 212th ball.

Jonny Bairstow says England can contend without Stuart Broad and James Anderson when India go in search of a rare Test win at Lord's.

Broad has been ruled out of the remainder of the five-match series after suffering a torn calf in training on Tuesday, while Anderson is expected to miss out with a quad injury.

Saqib Mahmood was called up to the squad on Wednesday and could make his debut in the absence of England's vastly experienced seam duo, with Moeen Ali poised to return in the longest format.

Bairstow cited the ODI series against Pakistan, which England won despite having to name a totally new squad at the eleventh hour following a coronavirus outbreak, as an example that other players can step in and take their chance.

“It would be a big loss [if both Anderson and Broad miss out], naturally, because they've got over a thousand Test wickets between them," said Bairstow.

"I don’t think it's too much of a destabiliser to be honest. I think with the nature of professional sport there is going to be injuries at times, there is going to be illness, it can happen overnight and you've got to be adaptable within the group.

"It's potentially a loss but with that comes an opportunity for other people. When we've seen that previously in the summer, in the Pakistan series, there were opportunities that arose for other people coming in and they rose to those challenges."

India also suffered an injury blow, with seamer Shardul Thakur missing due to a hamstring problem.

Ravichandran Ashwin could come into the team as a second spinner, while Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are pushing for recalls.

The first Test ended in a draw after the final day was washed out at Trent Bridge, with the tourists chasing 209 to win. Both sides were docked two points in the ICC World Test Championship points for slow-over rates in Nottingham.

 

 

ROOT BACK ABOVE KOHLI BUT IN NEED OF SUPPORT

Joe Root's exploits in the opening Test moved him above India captain Virat Kohli into fourth in the ICC Test Batting Rankings.

Root came to the rescue with a masterful 109 in the second innings after the England skipper top scored with 64 in his side's 183 all out in the first innings.

England's top three of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley are under pressure, with Haseeb Hameed waiting for his chance to step in.

 

KOHLI: MOEEN A DANGER MAN

All-rounder Moeen is poised to switch from The Hundred to the Test arena after he was called up this week.

Moeen claimed match figures of 8-226 when he returned to the Test stage against India in Chennai six months ago and Kohli is well aware of his quality.

Kohli said: "We are wary of his skills. He's obviously a very talented cricketer, brings consistency with the ball and as a middle-order or lower-order batsman. Especially in Test cricket, he can change the momentum of the game with the bat. 

"He's in great form right now, he's batting really well and with the ball he is always someone that the team has banked on, so we will have to be at our best going up against Moeen."

KEY OPTA FACTS

- England have lost just two of their 18 Tests against India at Lord's, winning 12 and drawing two. The last India win at the famous venue came in 2014. 
- England have failed to register a win in their past six Test matches (D2, L4), their longest winless run since 2017-2018, when they failed to register a win in eight matches (D2 L6).
- Root (8,887) is 14 away from becoming the second-highest run-scorer for England in Test history (Graham Gooch – 8,900). Root is the only player to score over 1,000 runs since the beginning of 2021 in the longest format.
- Ravichandran Ashwin (413) is five away from becoming the third-highest Test wicket-taker for India, with Harbhajan Singh on 417.

Saqib Mahmood has been called up to the England squad for the second Test against India at Lord's, with James Anderson an injury doubt.

Mahmood was added to the squad as cover before it was reported by The Sun that his Lancashire team-mate Anderson did not bowl in training on Wednesday due to stiffness in his thigh.

Follow veteran Stuart Broad has also been sidelined due to a tweaked right calf ahead of the second of five Tests versus Virat Kohli's side, which starts on Thursday.

Joe Root is also unable to call upon Ben Stokes, who took a break for mental health reasons, Jofra Archer (elbow), Chris Woakes (heel) and Olly Stone (stress fracture of the back).

Paceman Mahmood has not played for England in the longest format, but the 24-year-old seamer has made an impressive start to his white-ball career at international level.

He has 14 wickets in seven ODIs at an average of 19.92 and was named player of the series in the recent 3-0 win over Pakistan.

 

England also called up all-rounder Moeen Ali on Tuesday, while batsman Ollie Pope could return after recovering from a quad injury.

Meanwhile, both England and India have been docked two points in the ICC World Test Championship and fined 40 per cent of their match fees due to slow over-rates in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.

James Anderson took his 1,000th first-class wicket and finished with career-best figures as Lancashire dismissed sorry Kent for only 74 on Monday.

Legendary England seamer Anderson claimed a staggering 7-19 from 10 overs on day two of the County Championship match at Old Trafford.

England's record Test wicket-taker, and holder of the most caps for his country in the longest format, tore through Kent in a stunning spell from the James Anderson End.

He took seven of the first eight Kent wickets to fall, reducing them to a pitiful 34-8.

Anderson, who turns 39 this month, reached the 1,000 mark in his 262nd first-class match and bettered his previous best first in an innings of 7-42, which came in England's defeat of West Indies at Lord's in September 2017.

That was the match in which Anderson claimed his 500th Test scalp.

James Anderson's incredible career will reach a new high when he becomes England's most-capped Test player at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The indefatigable seamer will surpass his former team-mate and close friend Alastair Cook's tally of 161 appearances in the longest format when he faces New Zealand in the second and decisive final Test of the series.

Anderson, who turns 39 next month and is seventh on the list of most capped players from any country, will break the record 18 years after making his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's.

Stats Perform looks at some of the astonishing numbers the evergreen Lancastrian has racked up, including a staggering 30 five-wicket hauls and at least 10 wickets in a match on three occasions.

Record-breaking seamer closing in on Kumble

Anderson surpassed the record held by Australia great Glenn McGrath for the most wickets taken by a Test seamer when he dismissed India's Mohammed Shami in 2018.

McGrath claimed 563 scalps in an outstanding career but Anderson's haul now stands at 616.

England's record Test wicket-taker is only three wickets shy of matching Anil Kumble's total and will go third on the all-time list when he betters the former India spinner's haul.

 

A menace against India

Anderson's ability to generate deadly swing and seam has caused many India batsmen problems over the years.

He has taken more Test wickets against India than any other side, with 118 from 30 matches at an average of 25.29 - including four five-wicket hauls.

Fierce rivals Australia are next on the list of teams Anderson has taken the most wickets against, with 104 in 32 Ashes contests at 34.56 apiece.

 

Lethal at Lord's

Anderson announced himself on the Test stage by taking 5-73 on debut at Lord's in Zimbabwe's first innings back in May 2003.

He has thrived on playing at the Home of Cricket, taking 105 wickets in 24 Tests at the world-famous London ground at an average of 24.64

Only Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan has claimed more on a single venue, doing so at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo (166), Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy (117) and Galle International Stadium (111).

 

Living on the edge

Anderson has had more batsmen caught behind than any bowler in Test history.

As many as 168 of Anderson's dismissals have been taken by the wicketkeeper, which is 27.27 per cent of his wickets.

McGrath is next on the list with 152, while team-mate Stuart Broad has got batsmen to nick off on 124 occasions.
 

Record a batsman would be proud of

Anderson is certainly not known for his ability with the bat, despite being dubbed 'The Burnley Lara'.

Yet he went 54 Tests innings before being out for a duck, finally departing without troubling with scorers against Australia in August 2009.

AB de Villiers (78), Aravinda de Silva (75), Clive Lloyd and Ross Taylor (both 58) are the only men to have had more knocks without departing for nought.

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