England gear up for second Ashes Test

The second Ashes test begins in Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:54 IST
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London:The second Ashes Test begins in Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday. The biggest worry is the pitch that's been under covers for days now because of heavy rain. England are down in the dumps after a 239-run loss in the first test, but the good news is that Michael Vaughan has declared that he's fit to play. Vaughan back The man who scored three 100s against Australia in the last Ashes test series will play in Edgbaston. Vaughan in some shape to play but that may not be the case for the Edgbaston bit. Birmingham was hit by a tornado a few days ago. The changed conditions forcing England to bring in Paul Collingwood into the squad. Collingwood could play at the expense of Ian Bell or Ashley Giles, who's been under fire for his poor showing in the first test. Giles hit out in his newspaper column saying he deserves a little more respect. "I think some of the criticism has been a little bit over harsh, I don't think I'm over sensitive, I just think that two weeks ago this was the best England team, we were going to win the Ashes, everyone was slapping us on the back and after four days of cricket at Lord's it's all change in some people's eyes- get him out, him out, him out, he's not good enough, you know and that's a bit of an over-reaction I think, we need to back our players more," said Giles. Positive thinking Amidst all the doom and gloom in England over the 239-run defeat in the Lord's test, at least one guy was trying to be positive but only just. "Definitely, we must win or draw, I mean as long as we don't go 2-nil to Old Trafford I mean, then we've achieved something," said Kevin Pietersen, member, England Cricket Team. Australia during an innovative fielding drill are coming off an impressive draw against Worcestershire. All their batsmen got runs, and Jason Gillespie got five wickets to prove that he deserves to keep his place. And they can keep him considering McGrath and Warne single handedly inflicted all the damage in the first game taking 15 of the 20 wickets.

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