What: Australia vs England, 2nd Ashes Test
Venue: The Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Commences: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
Start time: 12 a.m. GMT (10 a.m. local)
Live on: Sky Sports 2
Weather: The bad news is that Accuweather predicts there will be some rain around on the first day. This should ease away as the match wears on with warmer weather on days two, three and four. There will also be some cloud cover, a handy asset for the bowlers.
Australia took a surprising lead during the first Ashes Test, thanks to a pace barrage from Mitchell Johnson and a general all-round team performance from the home side.
It's a peculiar situation for the Aussies to be in. The last time they were leading in the Ashes, they won the series 5-0. While that is an unlikely scenario this time around, with their tails up Australia will be feeling more settled than the visitors.
For the home side, a draw will be a good result, and if they can hold their nerve and the batting can remain stable and not crumble to pieces, that could very well be how things play out in Adelaide.
Australia aren't likely to make any changes to the side which won the first game; they have named the same side and it would seem the selectors are finally coming to their senses with regard to the importance of familiarity.
England face a trickier selection conundrum. Their vital No. 3, Jonathan Trott, has returned home to England with a stress-related illness and who fills that gap will be a tricky decision to make. Most signs point toward Joe Root moving up the order with Gary Ballance slotting in at No. 6.
The visitors also have to make a call on Chris Tremlett, who was rather ineffective in the first Test. Tim Bresnan has recovered from a back injury and will most likely come into the side in place of Tremlett.
Although not their fault, the tables have turned and England are the side struggling for a comfort zone. That makes it far more difficult for the visitors to find focus and turn things around. Winning the second Test might be a bridge too far, especially when it runs over such troubled waters.
Overall, it will be much harder work for Australia's bowlers, and it will be a test of their patience and resolve. If they want a fighting chance in this series, they cannot afford to go wayward and get stroppy if conditions do not suit them.
The pitch will be more friendly for the batsmen and it shouldn't break up too much heading into the final days, but Nathan Lyon will play a key role in bogging down the run rate and frustrating the batsmen to help build up pressure for his pace counterparts to score.
Whoever bats at No. 3 for England, either Root or possibly Ian Bell, will have to anchor the innings and assume responsibility for settling things down, no matter what chaos might be falling around them.
Australia: Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, David Warner, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Rogers, Steven Smith, Shane Watson
England: Alastair Cook (c), James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Michael Carberry, Monty Panesar, Boyd Rankin, Ben Stokes, Chris Tremlett
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