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Oz pace battery ready for Lord's challenge

Oz pace battery ready for Lords challenge

London: Right-arm pacer Josh Hazlewood reckons in a bid to level the Ashes, England will be tempted to explore options that are in favour of the bowlers during the Lord's Test which in turn might just play into Australia's hands.

England, who lost the first Ashes Test by 251 runs at Edgbaston, would be desperate to make a comeback in the five-match series when the two teams meet from August 14.

In the Edgbaston Test, Steve Smith proved to be England's nemesis as he scored hundred in both the innings and made sure Australia came from 122-8 in the first innings to register a big win in Birmingham.

Thus, England might be forced to provide pacer friendly conditions which, according to Hazlewood, can prove to be counter-productive for the hosts. "I think there'll be a little bit more in it (at Lord's), but in saying that, probably their best exponent Jimmy's not going to play. So that might weigh up different options, but I think there'll be more in it, maybe just to try to get Smithy out," Hazlewood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"But him batting on those sort of tracks is very hard work. I think it suits us as much as them if there is more in the wicket, so we'll weigh it up," he added. According to Hazlewood, the Australia selectors have covered all bases with the pace options they have picked for this series and would be ready to pace on any kind of wicket which will be on offer in the second Test.

Archer's Test debut

World Cup-winner Jofra Archer is in line to make his eagerly-awaited Test debut after being included in England's 12-man squad for next week's second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's, while Moeen Ali was left out on Friday.

Fast bowler Archer could replace James Anderson after England's all-time leading wicket-taker was ruled out with a calf injury that restricted him to sending down just four overs in a 251-run first-Test defeat by Ashes holders Australia at Edgbaston.

Archer missed that match because of a side problem but has since proved his fitness in a second-team fixture for county side Sussex against Gloucestershire, taking 6-27 and hitting a quick-fire century.

England also have another seam-bowling option in Surrey left-armer Sam Curran. Fast bowler Olly Stone, who was in the squad for the first Test but did not play, has been ruled out with a back injury.

Agencies

Agencies

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