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Dean Wilson: Time to double down with a run fest

15 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dean Wilson: Time to double down with a run fest

England must continue their brave and bold approach to keep the heat on the bruised Australians

Who saw that coming?

A whopping 169-run win for England was about as emphatic a statement as they could have made at the start of this Ashes series.

And now they have to make it all over again.

That is the beauty of a five Test series, there is still so much drama to play out that we haven’t even got to the intermission yet.

My belief is that for act two England will continue their brave and bold approach which has unsettled the Australians, but with it add with a ruthless pragmatism from their top order. Scoring at four an over and taking the game to the opposition is great and I wouldn’t dream of stopping Adam Lyth, Joe Root or Ben Stokes from unfurling stroke after stroke.

But there is more to this method than just fours and sixes and I’d be looking to Alastair Cook to lead the way like he did against New Zealand, in going big.

The captain has had a fine start to the series in the way he has marshalled things, but he could make a huge impact on the destination of the Ashes with his bat in hand.

And there could be no better way to break Australian hearts than by Cook batting all day and then some as their bowlers tire and the more gifted shot-makers do their thing around him.

Too often this year England have lost their first three wickets cheaply at the start of an innings, with Cook, Lyth and Gary Ballance repelling each other like magnets until Root arrives to bring everyone back together. Root’s recent run of form has been all the more remarkable for the pressure he has arrived to the middle under before releasing it with his dashing strokeplay.

Lord’s is tailor-made for England’s top order to thrive.

The top five share 12 Test hundreds between them at the ground and it is where Root scored 200 last year. Cook and Bell have four tons each at a ground where Graham Gooch and Michael Vaughan share the record with six apiece.

It takes a little bit of time to get used to the slope, but once you’re in you can score as many as you want and that is what England must do to keep Australia down.

In response you have to look at the two Aussie batsmen who have played for Middlesex over the last few years in Chris Rogers and Adam Voges. These guys felt very comfortable at the ground, scored a stackful of runs during their time there, but of course a Test match is a very different animal to a county match.

The question is who will it inspire most?

Until England won there in 2009 they hadn’t done for 93 years. The most traditional ground in the country and the most English ground of the lot was Australia’s fortress.

But times have certainly changed. As England’s batsmen have filled their boots only two touring teams have won there in the last 19 matches. And in 2013 the 347-run defeat of Australia was the third biggest margin by runs the ground had ever seen.

So you’d have to say it is a place where England feel extremely comfortable. But even if they do manage to pile on the runs they shouldn’t get too cosy just yet.

The Ashes 2nd Test Odds:

7/4 – England

6/4 – Australia

13/5 – The Draw

All Ashes betting

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