Jofra Archer received his England Test cap but was still to make his debut as rain saw the first day of yesterday’s second Ashes match against Australia abandoned without a ball bowled at a soaking wet Lord’s.
Chris Jordan, a Sussex teammate, presented Archer with the cap in England’s pre-match huddle ahead of a revised toss at 3:00pm local time (1400 GMT) - only for further rain to delay the start once again.
With rain still lashing an increasingly gloomy ‘home of cricket’, umpires Aleem Dar and Chris Gaffaney finally abandoned play for the day after tea at 4:19pm local time (1519 GMT)
Jordan may only have made eight Test appearances but he has been something of a ‘cricket brother’ for fellow Barbados-born county colleague Archer.
When the match should have been getting underway at 11:00am (1000 GMT), the square and pitch remained fully covered.
Further rain then meant hopes of any play before lunch soon disappeared as well. Now officials will hope the weather relents sufficiently for the match to begin at the scheduled 1000 GMT start of the second day.
Ashes-holders Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 after their 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.
It is 18 years since Australia last won an Ashes series in England. In 17 of the last 19 Ashes campaigns, the team that has led 1-0 has won the series.
The exceptions were in 1997 when Australia lost at Edgbaston, but won the six-match series 3-2 and 2005 when England lost at Lord’s but won the five-Test series 2-1.
World Cup-winner Archer is set to play after James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, was ruled out with a calf injury that meant he bowled just four overs at Edgbaston.
Australia’s Josh Hazlewood will play in the Test, coach Justin Langer confirmed after opening day was washed out.
Fast bowler Hazlewood has seen off competition from left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, who was also included in a 12-man squad after paceman James Pattinson was omitted as part of a rotation policy after featuring in Australia’s 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.
“He’s got an outstanding record,” said Langer of the 28-year-old, whose 44 Tests have yielded 164 wickets at an average of 27.14 but who was sidelined with a stress fracture earlier this year.
“He’s built up over the past few months. He missed out on the World Cup because we felt he hadn’t played much Cricket.”
Both Hazlewood and World Cup spearhead Starc were left out at Edgbaston, with Langer having previously made it clear he would rotate his six quicks during a series where five Tests are crammed into just six weeks.
Teams are not obliged to name their sides until the toss, yet to happen in this match, takes place.
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