Australia retain pace attack for Adelaide day-night Test

By @saihoops on
2017 Ashes, Pat Cummins
Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - GABBA Ground, Brisbane, Australia, November 23, 2017. Australia's Pat Cummins appeals successfully for LBW to dismiss England's Joe Root during the first day of the first Ashes cricket test match. Reuters / David Gray

Australia will retain the pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood for the second Test of the 2017 Ashes, which gets underway on Saturday. On Monday, Australia clinched a 1-0 series lead over England after completing a 10-wicket victory at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

With second Australia vs England Test match set to be played under lights at the Adelaide Oval, there was some chatter of the home team playing day-night seam specialist Chadd Sayers. However, Australia will field the same XI against England on a pitch that coach Darren Lehmann has described as "the fastest in the country."

According to Lehmann, the pitch at the Adelaide Oval turns quicker when the night falls. Also, the pink ball has proven to produce a little more zip off the surface when compared to the traditional Kookaburra ball. 

“It does quicken up at night. It’s probably the fastest wicket around Australia at night. (Bowling short at England’s tail) certainly hasn’t changed from four years ago. That’s one for us we see as an advantage. At the back end when the wicket quickened up (in Brisbane) and we could go after them a bit harder was helpful. That’s the blueprint. It’s no secret we’re going to attack their middle and lower order like that. Hopefully that success continues," Lehmann said Tuesday in the lead-up to the Adelaide Test. 

2017 Ashes: Day-Night Adelaide Test can throw up surprises 

In the short history of day-night Tests, it's worth noting that pink ball Test can cricket can offer monumental momentum shifts and games can be lost or won in the space of a session. Lehmann and the Aussies believe they can take full advantage of the conditions and bother England's batsmen with their pace battery.

“It (momentum) does shift but we’ve had a couple of good Test matches in the day-night set-up. It’s a fascinating Test match. There can be a lot of talk about it’ll seam and it’ll swing. The ball stays pretty good, but you can make runs if you play well as per normal. That’s going to be interesting how it plays."

The 2017 Ashes will move to the Adelaide Oval for the second Test between Dec. 2-5. The English have dominated the historic Ashes rivalry in recent years, winning four of the last five Test series, dating back to the 2009 Ashes in England. Though the Aussies pulled off a 5-0 whitewash of England when they last hosted the Ashes in 2013-14, Joe Root's team entered the series with good odds of retaining the urn.

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