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Thursday, December 02, 2010

The struggle continues...

The Second Test starts tomorrow here in Adelaide. There's been some rain this week, and more is forecast later in the match, but it may, if recent precipitation is any guide, take the form of thundery showers ie heavy, brief and local. Whether this means that one side will gain an advantage from the conditions, and whether any such advantage is sufficient to help them achieve a victory, remains to be seen.

England will almost certainly take the field with a settled team, that which played in the First Test (and in two preliminary matches).

Australia will make at least one change: we've been told that Mitchell Johnson will not be playing though he will remain - why I'm not sure - with the squad. Two (probably the first two) of Doug Bollinger, Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus will join Peter Siddle in the pace attack. After what happened in the second half of the First Test it's hard to conceive that this revamp could be anything other than an improvement, though will it be enough to win the match? Or draw it?

I'm not suggesting that Australia (or England for that matter) will set out to play for a draw (does any team ever?) but I wouldn't be surprised if the match turned out that way. The new curator (groundsman) has claimed that his Adelaide Oval wicket will change in character, from batsman to more bowler friendly, over the five days, but it's hard to envisage anything like a repeat of the 2006 match where 13 wickets (9 of them English) fell on day 5, after only 17 had fallen on the preceding four days. If it does it's more likely to be England who emerge as victors, but I wouldn't put money on them. As Brisbane showed,each team's batting is stronger than its bowling.
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