The Second Ashes Test at Lords

Despite England's emphatic win in the first Test, Alastair Cook still believes Australia remain favourites to claim the Ashes.

It's an understandable point of view - as current holders, all Australia need to do is tie the series to retain the tiny trophy, and losing the first Test isn't an enormous roadblock to doing that. On the other hand, defeating Australia by 169 runs is no mean feat, and England looked a quality outfit while they did it.

All the questions around Kevin Pieterson seem to have dropped by the wayside in the light of the success so far, and the squad are undoubtedly fired up to try and stick it to the Aussies again. This time round they're playing at Lords, the Holy Land of English cricket, and every player will want to try and get their name on the historic rolls of honour that are kept in the pavillion.

England don't actually have a particularly impressive record against Australia at Lords, having won just seven of their 35 tests there. The home squad are hopeful that the impressive bowler Moeen Ali will be fit for the second test. Having scored 77 in the second innings and taken five wickets in the first test, he is well on course to becoming a valuable all-rounder in Cook's side.

Australia are likely to make changes too. Brad Haddin is missing the test for personal reasons, so uncapped Peter Nevill steps in as wicketkeeper. He has an impressive record batting in first-class cricket, and he may be a formidable opponent over the weekend. It's also possible that all-rounder Shane Watson will be dropped in favour of Mitchell Marsh, after scoring poorly in the first Test and receiving the vitriol of the fans for his propensity to get out lbw at the earliest opportunity.

It took a bit of luck to win the first Test - Joe Root being dropped, for one, and Watson failing to make even a half century across two innings for another. England will definitely build on their achievements , and there's a good chance they can maintain their momentum and take the second test. The best place to back that is at PaddyPower, who are offering a market leading 15/8.

Australia have strength in depth though, and the changes to their squad may well be what they need to freshen up and meet the challenge. As Alastair Cook says, they're still formidable and they may well take it to England at Lords. The best place to back Australia is at BoyleSports, who have them at a decent 7/5.

Finally, our pick for a longer odds bet is Joe Root to score highest in the first innings. He's been top scorer in eight of his 28 tests so far, and the only player with a higher percentage is Don Bradman. The best place to back Joe Root as Top England Scorer (1st Innings) is at Coral, who have enhanced the odds to 4/1.

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