After a crushing defeat in the first Test, England would look to regroup at Lord's cricket ground when the two teams meet for the second of the five matches in 2019 Ashes series. The Aussies seem to have got that spring back in their steps that had gone missing with the departure of David Warner and Steve Smith.
England, on the other hand, have suffered the biggest loss possible for them in the form of James Anderson's injury. The hosts have pinned their hopes on Jofra Archer's pace to get them back into the series but to expect the young man to provide the same level of comfort as the person with more than 500 Test wickets is going too far.
Smith, the key
Still, if England can get Smith out cheaply, it could prize open the English batting line-up and make it vulnerable to the wiles of the home team's bowlers. Chris Woakes is usually at his best at Lord's and he could prove to be the swing merchant that England need. Stuart Broad has also not done too badly in the first Test. Apart from Smith, he is bound to be a big threat for other batsmen.
Will Archer deliver?
Archer will be an x-factor. Sheer pace and the ability to bowl well in the death overs of an ODI innings doesn't necessarily translate into success at the Test level. Will Archer be able to practice the art of bowling long spells on the same line and length and get the batsman to make a mistake? We don't know. But that would be a crucial thing to watch.
With Moeen Ali out of the team, Jack Leach gets an opportunity. The left-arm spinners seems like a good prospect for England. His disciplined line and length worked well in Sri Lanka and it would be interesting to see whether he can replicate that form against the Aussies.
What's wrong with Warner?
Pressure would be high on both David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. Both batsmen couldn't make a big mark in the first Test. Shane Warne predicted that while Warner and Bancroft won't be too bothered by the crowd's hostile reaction, Smith may feel a little disturbed.
However, the reverse seems to be happening. Smith looks like a person fully absorbed in the game and without much concern for what the crowd is doing. On the other hand, Warner may have let some of the negativity get under his skin. The latter does need to take some of the pressure of scoring off the shoulders of Smith.
Luckily for Australia, two other batsmen found form – Matthew Wade and Travis Head. It just goes to show that when one high-quality batsman scores runs, he lifts the level of the rest of the team. However, one musn't expect Smith to be getting runs in every innings. If he fails, then Australia would face their real test.
England, on the other hand, would be delighted at their opener Rory Burns finding form. The search for openers has been going on for a long time. At least momentarily, one of the spots seems fully occupied. The middle order may not have delivered in the first Test, but there is enough quality there for the supporters to be sure that someone will stand up from among them and get a good score.
Lastly, the pitch is going to play a huge role. Dry surfaces won't be liked by England after watching Nathan Lyon in action in the first game. But at this very ground – Lord's – England also collapsed against Ireland on a green surface. So, what England would probably want is a normal wicket that is good for batting but possessing some help for swing and seam bowlers. Whether such a pitch is available or not is a different question.