Preamble

Hello everybody and welcome to live OBO coverage of day two of the fourth Test from Old Trafford.

Day one went decisively Australia’s way. Tim Paine won a good toss before Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith neutralised any momentum England might have been carrying into the match following Ben Stokes’s heroics at Headingley.

Only 44 overs were possible and with further rain delays likely over the next couple of days, it may prove difficult for either side to force a positive result on a surface that has so far proven the easiest to bat on this series. With runs on the board and England batting last on a pitch expected to break up and facilitate spin, Australia are in the box seat. For the hosts to assert themselves on the contest the opening hour of play will be vital.

There will be plenty of scrutiny on Jofra Archer during the early exchanges. The emerging star underwhelmed for the first time in his international career yesterday, bowling without intent for portions, reflecting a general demeanour that suggested he did not relish his time in the field on such a wintry day. Joe Root must demand more from his spearhead.

If you don’t know the drill by now, I am holding the fort for the next hour or so until play begins but once the action gets underway I’ll hand you over to Adam Collins at Old Trafford. If you want to join in before play, starting at 11am BST, you can find me on Twitter or you can send me an email.




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