Ashes 2013: Three talking points from England’s second Test win

Ashes 2013: Harry Kemble looks at three talking points from England's emphatic second Test win at Lord's

kevin pietersen
England batsman Kevin Pietersen is a doubt for the third Test Photo: The Sport Review

England on the cusp of more Ashes glory

The gap between England and the old foe Australia has never been wider than at Lord’s during the second Test. The distance has been growing between the two teams since 2009, when England – if they were on song – knew they could brush past Australia. In 2010-11, the stats speak for themselves. Despite losing in Perth, England won three Tests by an innings. In this current series, Alastair Cook’s men can win without even breaking sweat because of Australia’s devastating ability to implode with the bat in hand. Not one of Michael Clarke’s batsmen has posed any continued threat to England. It says a lot that the now crocked James Pattinson, who will play no further part in the series after a stress fracture to his lower back, is topping the averages with 36. He came in at 10 for Australia this series. England know that they need to put in one more good performance at Old Trafford and the series is theirs.

Pietersen injury

England’s emphatic 347-run win at Lord’s has somewhat overshadowed Kevin Pietersen’s calf-strain which makes him a doubt for the third Test. It says something about England’s strength in depth that they no longer fear life without their star batsman. If Pietersen does miss the match through injury, who will replace him? Nick Compton could slip back in at the top of the order but that seems unlikely after Joe Root’s smooth transition to opener. James Taylor may well be the man England go to a year on from making his Test debut against South Africa, before being made the scape goat after Cook’s side lost the series and was subsequently dropped. This season, however, Taylor has been in flying form and looks certain to reach a 1000 first-class runs for the season. He is currently on 857 runs at an average of 53.56. He has kept his head down and fully deserves another crack at international level. Eoin Morgan is another option but having missed a large chunk of the county season to pursue his IPL interests, England may feel that he must wait a little longer before being invited back into the Test fold. He hasn’t even played a four-day match this term, either, but was invited to net with the team at Lord’s last week.

Enjoy it while it lasts

It is important to revel in this new dominance over the Old Enemy. England repeatedly suffered at the hands of Australia until 2005, when Michael Vaughan managed to win for the first time since 1987. It was not so long ago that Ricky Ponting gained revenge for losing the 2005 series by thumping England 5-0 Down Under in the 2006-07 series. England haven’t won this series yet but they will and when they do, they must remember the years of losing at the hands of the golden generation of Australian cricketers.

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