Aussies ready for anything Poms dish up at Lord’s
Left-arm English spinners and the potential for "juiced-up" pitches for the rest of the Ashes hold no fears for Test captain Tim Paine, who is confident his team can handle whatever England throws at them.
Paine walked away from Worcester adamant out-of-sorts opener Cameron Bancroft would fire up at Lord's next week and happy that whatever bowlers he needed to pick were in Test-ready form.
He said fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, overlooked for the first Test win at Edgbaston were both getting better with ever ball they bowled.
They shared five wickets against Worcester and while they are unlikely to play at Lord's, Paine said if conditions dictated one the "squad mentality" demanded they be at their best.
"Mitch has obviously come in off a World Cup so it was good for him to get another red-ball bowl. As Josh said, it seems every time he's bowled he has improved, too," Paine said.
"He has had a pretty long layoff with his back injury, so every time he's bowled on this tour he has got better.
"I thought his first spell here - both their first spells here were really, really good. So we know the high quality bowlers they are."
Paine said it didn't matter what England did with their team, which included dropping Moeen Ali and recalling left-arm spinner Jack Leach, mainly to combat run machine Steve Smith.
"There's been a lot of talk about changes in their team and changes in conditions, and all that sort of stuff,' Paine said.
"Something we've spoken about constantly was being able to adapt to any side they bring out or any conditions they dish up for us.
"We can control the way we prepare, and the way we want to play and as long as we're doing that then we're giving ourselves the best chance."
After making just 15 runs in two innings in his Test return at Edgbaston, opener Bancroft was out for just seven in the second innings against Worcestershire, while his batting rival, Marcus Harris, made 67.
But Paine said Bancroft would be better at Lord's.
"Bangers is a tough cricketer. He would have liked to have scored a few more runs, but I think he batted for over an hour or so in the first innings and faced a lot of balls (78).
"He's an extremely hard worker, he's really driven, he knows exactly how he wants to go about his cricket and we expect the same old Bangers.
"He'll front up at Lord's and do his absolute best."
The Australian bus left for London not long after the covers went on, with training to resume on Sunday.