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Australia looks to bounce back and level series

Nevill in line to make Australia debut while Haddin sits out of Lord's Test; England keen on maintaining momentum

Australia looks to bounce back and level series - Cricket News
Peter Nevill, the 29-year-old wicketkeeper, is in line to make his international debut at Lord's on Thursday (July 16) in the second Ashes Test, as Australia looks to bounce back from the disappointment of the opening defeat to England.    

He will make it the XI following Brad Haddin's decision to sit out of the game for family reasons. 

However, it could be a tough first game for Nevill, who is also Haddin's New South Wales deputy, because of how the ball can deviate alarmingly after passing the bat at Lord's. 

Losing Haddin from the second game is only the latest of Michael Clarke's headaches. Having come into the Ashes on a high, a 169-run defeat by the fourth day in the opener in Cardiff was a strong reality check. There have also been concerns about Mitchell Starc's fitness, while the experienced Shane Watson is feeling the heat after a poor run in recent games. 

But the captain backed his side to emulate the Class of 1997, who came from behind to win the Ashes. "I'm disappointed with the result (in Cardiff) but I'm not too concerned, because I know how good these players are," said Clarke, who is aiming to lead Australia to their first away Ashes series win in 14 years. “We just got outplayed by England ... we know we're a better team than that."

And, Lord's, he said, would be a good place to pull things back. Urging his team to revel in that atmosphere, he said: “Lord’s is special for a number of reasons, I think the history and tradition that comes with Lord’s is something that you cherish as a player,” he said. “You’ve walked onto a ground that so many great players from all parts of the world have played on.”
The team also got some good news, with indications that Starc, who picked up seven wickets in Cardiff, would be fit for the second Test despite suffering an ankle injury in the previous game.

Starc took a part in training on Tuesday and Peter Siddle, who would be in line to replace him in case of injury, said, "Starcy got through well today, bowled out in the middle off the long run, both ends, he's feeling good."

There could still be some changes in the XI, though, with Mitchell Marsh, the allrounder who impressed with hundreds in the tour games against Kent and Essex, being drafted in in place of Watson. 

For England, whose first match under Trevor Bayliss, its new coach from Australia, resulted in a commanding victory, the challenge is to keep up the momentum.  

James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, said there was no danger of complacency setting in. 

“Every opposition we play at Lord's generally picks up their game 10% for some reason," he said. "When teams are 1-0 down, they generally come back strong in the series, so we've got to be prepared for that."

Despite some concerns about Moeen Ali's fitness, Alastair Cook is likely to lead an unchanged England side and keep the aggressive style of play the team showcased in the first game. 

The England batsmen have been in fine form, and the fact that Ian Bell is back in runs should give them an added boost. With no rain forecast and with Australia having to quickly regroup, the team will be backing itself to keep up the pressure. 

Teams (likely):
England: Alastair Cook (capt), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali/Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson.

Australia: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (capt), Adam Voges, Shane Watson/Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc/Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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