The Ashes 2021/22, Second Test: Preview, Fantasy Tips, Likely XIs

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Wed, 15/12/2021
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James Anderson
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IANS

Australia will be looking to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series when they take on England on 16 December, in the second Test match under floodlights in Adelaide.

Australia have won all eight day-night Tests they have played so far, while England have won one and lost three of their four games. Moreover, of their last 11 Test matches in Australia, England have lost 10 and have drawn one.

Pat Cummins has confirmed that Australia will be making one forced change to the line-up after a nine-wicket win in the series opener at the Gabba. Jhye Richardson will replace Josh Hazlewood, who was ruled out with a side strain. David Warner, who suffered bruised ribs in the first Test match while batting, will be in focus.

With an uphill task ahead, England will welcome James Anderson and Stuart Broad – their leading wicket-takers in Tests – back in the playing XI. They have left Mark Wood out of the 12-member squad, and have retained Jack Leach instead. However, the return of Broad and Anderson, combining with the form of Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson, will probably lead to Leach being left out.

Australia are favourites on paper ahead of the contest. While Travis Head’s assault was one of the major highlights in the first Test, Marnus Labuschagne and Warner showed composure with bat as well. But Cummins’ performance in his first Test match as captain surpassed all. He returned match figures of 7-89, including 5-38 in the first innings.

There will be a fair share of grass on the Adelaide pitch offering some pace, bounce and movement. The weather will remain warm in the opening two days before cooling down from the weekend.

Betway Fantasy Tips

- In 2021, Joe Root has 1,541 runs at an average of 67. He will get a maximum of four innings to overtake Mohammad Yousuf's record for the most Test runs in a calendar year. Yousuf aggregated 1,788 in 19 innings, in 2006.

- Among wicketkeepers, keep faith in Jos Buttler and overlook Alex Carey.

- Cummins is the most popular choice as captain in fantasy XI. Make Anderson vice-captain.

- Do not ignore Steven Smith. He missed out in Brisbane, but is not going to fail again.

Likely XIs

Australia (confirmed): Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey (wk), David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon.

England: Joe Root (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, James Anderson. Fantasy XI

Fantasy XI

Pat Cummins (c), James Anderson (vc), Joe Root, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson.