Sir Ian Botham's Ashes Tips: Trott & Anderson to fire England to second test victory at Lord's


What an incredible test match we enjoyed at Trent Bridge! It was a marvellous start to the series, as Australia ran England closer than we expected in an epic encounter.  

I wasn't surprised by Australia's valiant efforts - you could grab a random bunch of Aussies off Bondi Beach for a match and they'd put up a good fight so it was never going to be a walkover against the best they have. Brad Haddin is a great fighter and competitor so we knew he was going to be a problem - he just loves playing against England in the Ashes.

Ashton Agar was the only real surprise package for me in the first test. To be quite honest, we didn’t even know who he was, and yet he batted like a seasoned Test batsman for his 98; quite remarkable for a number 11 on debut.

England head into the second test with an unchanged squad and Steven Finn, on his home ground at Lord’s, could have a big impact if he is retained in the starting XI.

The Lord’s pitch will be pretty dry and I don’t think any groundsman could do much to change that. They won’t put too much artificial water on it so I expect it to be a reasonably dry wicket and not too dissimilar to what was just played on at Trent Bridge.

There won’t be much cloud in London this weekend, not that it'll stop the reverse swing from happening. The abrasive surface will mean the ball will start to reverse quite quickly anyway, and England are well equipped to benefit from that more than the Australians.

I think Jonathan Trott (4.75) will come out top runs scorer in the first innings  again. He's not an easy man to dislodge.

And, again, I don’t think you can look beyond James Anderson (2.75) as the top wicket taker. He is closing in on my record for most wickets and there's no doubt he's going to surpass my tally. He's a great talent.

Michael Clarke (4.00) is due runs and I think the first innings at Lord’s could be the time and place he does it. I’m torn between James Pattinson and Peter Siddle as Australia’s best performer with the ball, but I think Pattinson (3.50) will come alive at Lord's as it suits the taller bowler.

I have no doubt there will be a century in this match, but I can’t see the double century at odds of 7/2. If there is one it will be with the English bat, but I can’t see it this time around - maybe later in the series.

I cannot see Australia getting as close to England at Lord's and I'm backing another England win at 1.95.  

Sir Ian Botham is a Unibet Armchair Ambassador and will be writing here exclusively throughout the Ashes series and across Unibet's Summer of Sport. 

The second test starts at Lord's on Thursday. Bet on it with Unibet.