The Ashes: Fightback not enough with Aussies on top

LESS than a week after celebrating a well-deserved 169-run win against Australia in Cardiff, England was left praying for rain to save it from almost certain defeat in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Thanks to 96 from captain Alastair Cook (pictured) and 87 from all-rounder Ben Stokes, the home side dug itself out a huge hole to reach 312.

But with David Warner unbeaten on 60 and Chris Rogers on 40 not out, Australia was in complete command at 0-108 at stumps on day three, a lead of 362 runs.

That prompted critics to call for changes at the top of an England batting order that had been given a reprieve after decent results against New Zealand, and a big win to open the series against the Aussies.

Concerningly, in five of its past seven Test matches, England has lost its first three wickets in the first innings with 42 or less on the board.

Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell are the players under most pressure.

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