England’s selection dilemma
reluctant to go down that route again.
However, loyalty only goes so far and Jonny Bairstow, who has been in prolific form for Yorkshire, could be brought in with Root perhaps promoted to number three.
“I am not really sure,” said England captain Alastair Cook when asked about potential changes to the order in the third test which begins on 29 July.
“It is something the selectors might have to look at. It’s down to the players; I don’t think it is where people bat. People have got to get stuck in and we did not quite manage to do that in this game.”
Since scoring a century against New Zealand in May, Lyth, Cook’s latest opening partner, has done nothing to suggest he could be a long-term solution after Michael Carberry, Nick Compton, Sam Robson and Jonathan Trott failed to cement their places.
“Over the last few games now, we have been three-down for 40-odd, and it’s hard to always expect the middle order to get us out of trouble,” Cook said. “That is obviously an area of concern.” There are question marks over the bowling attack too.
James Anderson, England’s leading test wicket-taker, failed to claim a single victim at Lord’s, the first time that has happened since the match against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2010.
Anderson needs pitches with more life than those prepared at Cardiff and Lord’s, though Cook insists England have not been asking groundsmen to prepare flat, slow wickets.
Stuart Broad did bowl well, pitching the ball up more than Anderson or Mark Wood and earning his reward with four wickets in Australia’s first innings.
Ben Stokes also failed to take a wicket as the fourth seamer and England may be tempted for a left-field call-up of uncapped Mark Footitt, who has genuine pace and would provide left-arm variety, in place of Wood.
Australia were not afraid to make changes following their loss in Cardiff, bringing in allrounder Mitchell Marsh for the more experienced Shane Watson and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.
The energetic Marsh chipped in with key wickets at Lord’s while Nevill had a fine match with the gloves and scored a useful 45 in the first innings.
England will mull similar moves but the smart money is on an unchanged side taking the field in the third test at Edgbaston as they seek to establish continuity and stability at the start of the Cook/bayliss era.
Australia's Chris rogers (left) and Australia's David Warner run between the wickets on the third day of the second Ashes cricket test match.