LITESPORT ENGLANDS Ashes assault appears to be firmly on track as openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook dismantled struggling Australian pace ace Mitchell Johnson on the opening morning of the second Ashes Test at Lords. England spent the majority of last weeks series opener in Cardiff on the back foot as a result of insipid bowling and questionable batting. Butafterwinningthetossandelecting to bat on a belting track at the home of cricket, skipper Strauss led from the front as England put themselves in the box seat on 117-0 at lunch. The Middlesex man went for his sand- wiches unbeaten on 47, while his Essex counterpart Cook was not out 67. The two left-handers, now Englands most-used Test match opening partner- ship, saw off accurate opening spells from Ben Hilfenhaus and Johnson, before tearing into the latter. Johnson came into the series billed as the man most likely to decimate Eng- lands batting order -- but it simply hasnt happened for him so far. He wasted half a dozen overs as Aus- tralia pressed for victory in Wales and after showing early signs of improve- ment here, he completely lost the plot on this ultra-flat surface. Johnson, 27, viewed as Glenn McGraths long-term replacement, struggled at a venue his predecessor was able to call his second home having taken 26 wickets at 11.50 in three Tests. By contrast, in his first Test at NW8, Queenslander Johnson recorded night- marish figures of 8-0-53-0 and was dis- missed to the boundary 11 times. Former England spinner Phil Tufnell said: It doesnt matter what your repu- tation is, playing a Test at Lords for the first time is a daunting prospect who- ever you are. The slope is always a factor if you havent bowled here much, it is going to take some getting used to. Hes bowled way too short, you need to pitch it up on this sort of track. It was a great toss to win, but weve made the most of it. Our bowlers will be enjoying this after what happened inCardiff.Onthispitch,asabowleryou want your skipper to win the toss and have a bat so you can put your feet up for two days. Strauss and Cook have played beauti- fully and all they need to do is keep on punishing the bad ball. England opted to make only one change from the opening Test, dropping Monty Panesar in favour of Graham Onions, and leaving out his Durham colleague Steve Harmison. Harmy, who terrorised Australia at Lords four years ago, was expected to make his first Test appearance since February,butafterAndrewFlintoff was passed fit, Strauss decided to go with Onions, the leading wicket taker in country, instead. He said: Steve was primarily in the squad as cover for Feddie -- hes fit and they are two fairly similar bowlers so weve brought Graham in for Monty to give the side a better balance. 42 Thursday, 16 July 2009 London Lite COOK DISHES IT UP Are you Sure? Andrew Flintoff is set to shoot a commercial ENGLANDvAUSTRALIA ASHES2009 SECONDTEST FirstmorningatLords belongstoopenersas Aussieaceimplodes Now Freddie peddles his Fredalo incident ENGLAND star Andrew Flintoff will revisit one of his most infamous moments --the pedalo affair -- for a new TV advert. The all-rounder was fined and suspended by England after getting into difficulties at sea following a drinking session during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. Flintoff admitted he was ashamed of his behaviour at the time and lost his role as Englands vice-captain. But he now preparing to make light of the situation by appearing in a new commercial for Sure Men Sport. The advert will show Flintoff pedalling through rivers and canals, desperately trying to make it to the next Ashes Test, after a group of scheming Australians swap his car for a pedalo. The pedalo is later to be auctioned off in aid of the AF Foundation, which raises money for child rehabilitation and physiotherapy units. Flintoff, 31, yesterday announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the current Ashes series. But he was declared fit to start this morning after a 20-minute bowling session out in the middle with coach Ottis Gibson. News of his impending retirement was greeted warmly by VB Chandrasekhar, the boss of Flintoffs Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings. He said: It is always nice to have such a top cricketer to be available full time. I can understand why he has made this decision. Those comments fit in with the verdict of the MCC World Cricket Committee, whose two-day meeting at Lords ended yesterday. Their statement read: Test cricket throughout the world, and in particular the lower-ranked nations, is in very real danger of dying. MCC research shows attendances have declined in recent years and player surveys reveal that an IPL contract was the main career aspiration for many. BY NEAL COLLINS BY JAMES GOLDMAN at Lords TV AND RADIO Sky Sports 1 10am-7pm, highlights: 8pm and 11pm. Channel 5 highlights: 7.15pm. Radio: BBC Radio 4 and Five Live Sports Extra WEATHER Tomorrow: Touch overcast and cooler but should be rain free. LUNCHTIMESCOREBOARD FIRSTTEST Cardiff,matchdrawn SECONDTEST Lords,Today-20July THIRDTEST Edgbaston,30July-3Aug FOURTHTEST Headingley,7-11Aug FIFTHTEST TheBritOval,20-24Aug THE SERIES ENGLAND, 1ST INNINGS A Strauss not out...........................................47 A Cook not out ..............................................67 Extras (1nb, 7b, 4lb)....................................12 Total (without loss, 30 overs) .................126 Bowling: Hilfenhaus 10-7-16-0; Johnson 8-0-53-0; Siddle 8-0-34-0; Hauritz 4-0-12-0. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html