Under the Adelaide lights and with the pink ball at their mercy, the two highest wicket-taking bowlers currently in Test cricket, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, can make up for lost time at the Gabba.

The first Test was everything England supporters didn’t want to see, from a lack of top order stability to the customary middle order collapse, while the selectors leaving out England’s two best bowlers on the team sheet may have felt like a real kicking. But England march on to Adelaide and we preview the second Test below.

Partnerships set to be key

If England are to keep their Ashes hopes alive then the second Test this week is a must win, it’s as simple as that. The importance of this Adelaide Test cannot be underestimated as under the lights and with the pink ball, it is England’s best hope of getting on the scoresheet, which could hamper the Aussies and shift some momentum in English favour. But, if they are to do that and equal the series, partnerships must be the flavour of the five days. That’s both in bowling partnerships and batting, and it is within these partnerships that the two pairs at the top of their respective orders will have the most crucial roles.

In the bowling department, that buck could fall in the hands of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson. The two veterans were controversially left out of the first Test at the Gabba but rest assured, bar accident or injury, these two will be teaming up to tear through the Australian batters under the floodlights. The importance of the day/night element to this Test is crucial for England. If they are to make the inroads expected, Broad and Anderson will have to be on their A game. The experience of their combined 1,156 Test wickets, combined with their fresh and rested legs, should be enough to trouble the home side.

However, England’s batsmen will need to be on their game too, particularly Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed at the top of the order. Burns’ series didn’t exactly get off to a flyer when being bowled round his legs with the first ball of the series by Mitchell Starc, but he has shown character in his Test career so far and hopefully he will be able to show that in Adelaide. Hameed is a player who never looks far from a big score, and as someone who likes to occupy the crease, he really could do a job here for England. Both batsmen are equal at 5/1 to lead the run charge behind the obvious Joe Root and Dawid Malan.

Cummins’ 1-0 record

Pat Cummins’ captaincy career couldn’t have got off to a better start and he, like most of Australia, will be hoping he can enhance his record to that of 2-0 in the second Test. There were some notable individual performances, it must be said, including Travis Head’s superb 152 and Nathan Lyon claiming his 400th Test wicket. But the standout piece of cricket came on the fourth morning when Australia took eight wickets to dismiss the tourists for 297. The Gabba is a fortress for a reason, though, and the Australia camp will be aware of the dangers lurking in a dark Adelaide.

There is particular cause for concern with Josh Hazlewood ruled out of the Test through injury, where he would have been able to utilise the conditions in much the same way as the English bowlers. Cummins will have his work cut out to once again lead the Australian team and the bowling unit, but he showed in the first Test that he looks to have the patience to be able to win sessions and not get carried away in the moment.

It is no surprise after both sides’ performances at the Gabba that the Aussies head into the second Test as the firm favourites at 8/15, while England sit behind at 13/5. However, it could be argued that those prices don’t tell the whole story and England could be considered a backable price if their partnerships do the business.

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