adelaide test
Adelaide Test: 2nd Ashes Test match Australia v England

Thursday, 16th December (day / night)
Adelaide Oval

  • Hazlewood is out of the Adelaide Test with Jhye Richardson in line to replace him
  • Stuart Broad is back for England
  • This will be the first of two day/night Test matches in the series

Australia have a 1-0 lead in the Ashes as the series moves to the Adelaide Test on Thursday, with the weather hot and no prospect of rain. The day / night Test matches at Adelaide have quickly won a reputation for massively swinging pink ball, which tends to produce a bunch of wickets during the evening session. The pitch will produce good bounce until the fourth day and then the spinners will start to take wickets.

England are banking on Stuart Broad to get wickets during this period and they might even bring back Jimmy Anderson. After losing by 9 wickets in Brisbane the selectors will be in a radical mood and the conditions will suit them, but coming back from 1-0 would be monumental. A good goal for them is to score more than 300 in an innings which is something they failed to do in Brisbane.

Australia to win by 150 runs or 5 wickets.

Adelaide Test: Australia

Australia’s only worry is that Josh Hazlewood is out, but another highly competent bowler of the same type will be there. Jhye Richardson has an excellent record and the prospect of him bowling during the night session is an intriguing one. The pace attack alone should be good enough in these conditions but Nathan Lyon will be there to get wickets on the 4th and 5th days if England can bat well. Pat Cummins’ captaincy was excellent in Brisbane and the players were impressed by the way he led by example.

Batting

Marnus Labuschagne got his series off to a good start and I can’t see why he can’t repeat that form in Adelaide. He looks to be the right choice for the No.3 spot due to his tight defence and sound shot selection. He waits for the ball to come to him and this is the way to play the late swinging ball, which will be the key to scoring runs at Adelaide.

Travis Head’s century was brilliant and was the perfect reply to a certain ex-Australian captain who was bagging him from behind a microphone. He should be able to cash in for the rest of the series and score three centuries this summer. The good thing now is that England will fear him and they might opt for a defensive field in order to slow him down, which won’t work.

David Warner was unlucky to not score another century in Brisbane and his 94 from 178 balls showed that he has the patience and endurance to make big scores. The English bowlers showed that they will wilt after a session without a wicket and Warner has now adopted the old saying: the first hour of a Test match belongs to the bowlers and the rest of the day belongs to the batters. However, if he bats under lights it will be very interesting to see if he can bat with discipline against the swinging ball.

Bowling

Pat Cummins is not only now a capable captain but he’s also one of the best bowlers in the world. His seven wickets in Brisbane have set him up nicely and he has proven that he can bowl and captain well at the same time. He doesn’t mind bowling around the wicket and his short pitched deliveries get him lots of wickets because they’re bowled with accuracy.

Jhye Richardson will be under pressure to perform because being an Australian bowler means having to battle for your place in the team all the time. His job will be to make the English batters feel uncomfortable with short pitched bowling, and then trap them in front of the stumps and either bowl them or dismiss them LBW..

Nathan Lyon has now taken four hundred wickets in Test matches and returns to his home ground where he knows he can take wickets. The short side boundaries and the flat wicket aren’t very helpful to spinners initially, but by the fourth and fifth days he should be able to collect wickets against batters who are mentally ragged.

Adelaide Test: England

The pressure is on England but the good news is that the swinging ball will be a factor at this venue. That means that Stuart Broad will probably be back and Jack Leach will be dropped. Joe Root and Dawid Malan scored runs in Brisbane but the other batters will need to contribute more. Ben Stokes will need to find his form after his quiet game in Brisbane but he still has the ability to win a Test by himself. What is under question is Joe Root’s ability to captain effectively: why did he leave Jack Leach on when he was going for 7 an over?

Batting

Joe Root is one of the best batters in the world and he should be able to score a couple of centuries in this series. The swinging pink ball should not be an overwhelming challenge for a player of his class because he has the patience and the judgment to score runs here. He’s at the absolute peak of his career but the pressure to perform will be immense because the rest of the England batting line up isn’t that good.

Dawid Malan is one of the few English players who played well in Brisbane and he should continue to score in Adelaide. Scoring patiently against quality bowlers in unfriendly conditions takes exceptional fortitude and he’ll need to repeat his performance of 82 from 195 balls in Brisbane. Making the bowlers work hard under the hot Adelaide sun will work for the first two sessions but the third session under lights will be challenging.

Jos Buttler is doing a worthwhile job as the wicket keeper and his batting in Brisbane was credible with scores of 23 and 39, providing some stability with the tail. He’s better known as a T20 batter and so he has had to cut out most of his shots and settle for farming the strike with the tailenders. At some point he’s going to release the brakes and this will cause mayhem among the Australian bowling attack.

Bowling

Stuart Broad looks like he’ll return to Test cricket after having not represented England since August. He runs hot and cold but Adelaide is the right venue for his comeback and the other England players will appreciate his feisty attitude towards the Australians. The bouncing ball that catches the top half of the bat is his main weapon and the fielders behind the wicket will be kept busy. Expect him to cash in during the night sessions because he’s capable of swinging the pink ball with accuracy and intent.

Ollie Robinson had the distinction of keeping his economy rate at under three runs per over in Brisbane, which is what a bowler is supposed to do. He’s new to this level, having played six Test Matches with a healthy bowling average of 19. Endurance is a huge factor when bowling in Test matches in Australia. He proved he has it in abundance and he’ll be encouraged by the swing that will be on offer during the night session.

Ben Stokes’ troubles with the front foot no ball in the 1st Test provided a talking point, but there wasn’t much else he could take away from Brisbane. But just like Ian Botham in his prime, an England team featuring Stokes should always be treated with caution. He doesn’t mind bowling wide of the crease and keeping the ball well outside the off stump which produces extravagant shots from the batters, which in turn produces a lot of catches in the 3rd slip and gully area.

Adelaide Test: Betting Odds

Australia $1.55
England $3.70
Draw $7
with TopSport

Adelaide Test: Best Bet

Jhye Richardson most wickets for Australia (first innings): $4.40 with TopSport

Adelaide Test: Best Same Game Multi

Jhye Richardson – most wickets for Australia
Ollie Robinson – most wickets for England
Dawid Malan – most runs for England

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