Australia coach Justin Langer backs Steve Smith to fire again at Lord's

Justin Langer
Justin Langer

Justin Langer accepts Australia "got lucky" in the first Ashes Test by cashing in on James Anderson's injury.

While there was nothing fortunate about Steve Smith's twin centuries at Edgbaston and nothing accidental about Nathan Lyon's brilliant bowling display on day five - two performances which helped deliver a crushing 251-run win - Langer realises how important Anderson's absence was.

England's record wicket-taker managed just four overs on the first morning in Birmingham before a calf problem struck, leaving the home attack one short for the majority of the match.

The 37-year-old was restricted to a pair of batting cameos at number 11 thereafter and has been ruled out of this week's Lord's clash, where the tourists will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

"We are very aware that England played without James Anderson, one of their best players and we got lucky," said Langer.

"That's the truth of it, with him not playing. He's a brilliant fast bowler, one of the all-time greats, so if he only bowls four overs for the match then we got lucky there. Here at Lord's there's different conditions and different pressures so we just have to make sure we're right for this Test match."

Australia could be tempted to go in unchanged after their victory last time out but have a highly-decorated pace pair in Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc waiting in the wings should they be tempted to change.

Second Test preview
Click on the image to read Richard Mann's second Test preview

England, meanwhile, will make at least two changes to the attack that was blunted so masterfully by Smith and might even go for three if they can engineer a way to add all-rounder Sam Curran to the XI.

As well as the extra pace of the uncapped Jofra Archer, Somerset's Jack Leach is set to return having been recalled at Moeen Ali's expense.

Statistical analysis from CricViz has shown that Smith's record against left-arm finger spin is a potential weak spot, averaging 34.90 against such bowlers - a modest return given his otherwise formidable numbers.

But, having seen the former captain turn in one of his best ever displays, Langer is backing Smith to answer any questions that Leach poses.

"No, I don't buy into it," he said of the slow left-arm 'solution'.

"He's got this incredible ability to solve problems, I'm sure he'll be thinking a lot about he's going to play all the new bowlers who are coming in.

"He's a good player and hopefully he'll have a way of working it out. As we keep saying, he's a different beast and he knows how to prepare and what works for him."

Related links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Check out Monday's racing preview1

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Lambeth Walk her best bet of the day at Ripon on Monday - she has a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day2

Daily Nap: Don't be Impatient

Richard Mann heads to Chepstow for Sporting Life's Nap of the day on Monday - check out the details here.

Rory McIlroy on his way to the FedEx Cup3

McIlroy the $15million man

Rory McIlroy landed a $15million payday with his second FedEx Cup victory in the space of four years, as he produced a dominant final round in the TOUR Championship.

Jack Leach rushes to congratulate Ben Stokes4

Stokes special draws England level

Ben Stokes produced a breathtaking unbeaten century to drag England to a one-wicket victory over Australia on a pulsating fourth day of the third Ashes Test match at Headingley.

Joelinton scores for Newcastle against Tottenham5

Joelinton lifts the Toon gloom

Joelinton's goal stunned Spurs as Newcastle lifted some of the gloom around Steve Bruce with a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Most Read

Check out Monday's racing preview1

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Lambeth Walk her best bet of the day at Ripon on Monday - she has a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day2

Daily Nap: Don't be Impatient

Richard Mann heads to Chepstow for Sporting Life's Nap of the day on Monday - check out the details here.

Rory McIlroy on his way to the FedEx Cup3

McIlroy the $15million man

Rory McIlroy landed a $15million payday with his second FedEx Cup victory in the space of four years, as he produced a dominant final round in the TOUR Championship.

Jack Leach rushes to congratulate Ben Stokes4

Stokes special draws England level

Ben Stokes produced a breathtaking unbeaten century to drag England to a one-wicket victory over Australia on a pulsating fourth day of the third Ashes Test match at Headingley.

Joelinton scores for Newcastle against Tottenham5

Joelinton lifts the Toon gloom

Joelinton's goal stunned Spurs as Newcastle lifted some of the gloom around Steve Bruce with a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Racing Tips

Check out Monday's racing preview

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Lambeth Walk her best bet of the day at Ripon on Monday - she has a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Don't be Impatient

Richard Mann heads to Chepstow for Sporting Life's Nap of the day on Monday - check out the details here.

Justin Thomas celebrates

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in August 2019.

Next Race Off

09:25 Hyderabad
6
(4)
Nova Scotia
J: Akshay Kumar
11
(10)
Surseine
J: P Sai Kumar
9
(8)
Aristocrats Charm
J: Surya Prakash

Football Tips

Justin Thomas celebrates

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in August 2019.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Super Sunday: Spurs set to shine

More Premier League games on Sunday to get stuck into and we're backing Spurs to inflict more misery on Steve Bruce's Newcastle.