@Rich_Wisden 2 minute read
The opening day of the second Ashes Test between England and Australia was washed out at Lord’s on Wednesday, August 14.
Persistent rain fell during the morning before the overhead conditions brightened up in the early parts of the afternoon. The Lord’s groundstaff worked tirelessly to prepare the ground for play, as the teams began their warm-up routines, only for another downpour to ensue. Play was eventually abandoned at 4:15pm, with the toss having yet to take place.
Jofra Archer was awarded his first Test cap by close friend and fellow Sussex teammate Chris Jordan, who delivered a lengthy speech to England’s rising star from inside the team huddle.
The pace ace has dominated the pre-match build-up in recent days. Australia coach Justin Langer questioned whether the speedster would be able to instantly adapt to the Test form: “He’s played one red-ball game in 11 months. He’s a very skilled bowler, but Test cricket is very different to white-ball cricket.”
Archer offered a confident retort in a subsequent press conference: “I’m probably more ready than I’ve ever been…I’m usually the one bowling the most overs anyway, so I think Justin Langer has another thing coming!”
While some rain is forecast for Thursday morning, tomorrow’s prospects of play are promising. England will bid to fight back after losing the opening encounter at Edgbaston, thanks in no small part to the mastery of Australia lynchpin Steve Smith, playing his first Test match since returning from a 12-month suspension after the ball-tampering scandal at Newlands in March 2018.
How England adjust their tactics to tame Australia’s No.4, and how he combats the extreme pace of England’s Test debutant, will provide a thrilling narrative over the remaining four days.