England replace Moeen Ali with Jack Leach for second Ashes Test

Ross Houston
August 12, 2019

Paceman Archer is in line to make a much-anticipated test debut as a replacement in the XI for England's record wicket-taker James Anderson, ruled out at the Home of Cricket because of a calf injury that restricted him to four overs in the series opener.

England also have another seam-bowling option in Surrey left-armer Sam Curran.

"It's unfortunate for them that he went down early in the first game, it's no secret that he is a massive loss" said Cummins, who last week became the second fastest Australian to 100 Test wickets as he reached the mark in his 21st outing.

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach shone with the bat for England against Ireland at Lord's.

Moeen was omitted after a miserable match at Edgbaston.

Moeen offered neither control nor a consistent threat in Australia's second innings, with unflattering figures of two for 130 from 29 overs containing two "moon ball" beamers. He was ineffectual in the first Test as well, although Nathan Lyon was on song for Australia, especially in the fourth innings.

Leach will be tasked with slowing Steve Smith, who scored a century in both innings last week to put England to the sword, but the Somerset man is keen not to overthink the task ahead.

But all three have retained their places in the squad, although Denly's position at number four had been called into question following scores of 18 and 11 in Birmingham.

England have only twice come from 1-0 down to win an Ashes - in 1981 when inspired by Ian Botham and in 2005, when they eventually won 2-1 in what is widely regarded as one of the most exciting series in Test history. Tim Paine's Australia will aim to extend the series lead and stamp their authority on hosts, whereas England side will surely be bolstered with Jofra Archer's return and their sole aim is to keep Aussies on the back foot from the word go and to level the series 1-1.

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