Swing of Hilfenhaus to help Aussies keep unbeaten Lord's run

Despite England having fought hard for the draw on a hugely entertaining last day in Cardiff, there are few who would argue that they were not fortunate to emerge with their series record unscathed. The psychological damage however will have been a little more painful, as the Three Lions clung on to the Aussie coat tails for dear life, and there is little to suggest that they will fare much better in this week&rsquo;s second Test at Lord&rsquo;s.<br /><br />While the Home of Cricket may lie in a leafy corner of north-west London, Australia&rsquo;s record at the ground would suggest they are kings of this castle. So comfortable have they been in England&rsquo;s back garden, that their record reads 15 victories, 14 draws and five defeats. England last mustered a victory against their fiercest opponents here in 1934, and it was the scene of their only defeat in the 2005 series, so I&rsquo;ll be getting on the Australians at 7/4 with Boylesports.<br /><br />England eventually enjoyed fervent support in Wales, and will of course have the partisan backing of a packed Lord&rsquo;s, but their best hope is likely to be another draw. With showers forecast during the five days, Andrew Strauss might need to lead his boys in a raindance to avoid going behind. The back-to-back Tests have offered little time for Barmy Army fingernails to regrow, or England heads to clear, and Ricky Ponting&rsquo;s men will look to capitalise on their dominance in the opener and historic supremacy at Lord&rsquo;s. Should they bat first on a pristine pitch, I would expect them to build-up a healthy total, and will back them at 5/6 in the first innings handicap of -33.5. An advantage that form would suggest they can still expect even if they are to field first.<br /><br />For England to stand any chance of taking something from the game, Strauss will need to inspire much better batting performances from his top and middle order who appeared in worse shape than their pitch-frequenting team physio. Alastair Cook looked rusty, Ravi Bopara nervous and Kevin Pietersen affected by the multitude of advice proffered following his silly sweep. In better nick than most, expect the captain to come good on one of his favourite grounds and show the way. He is fifth in the all-time list of his country&rsquo;s leading scorers here, weighing in with 989 runs, furthermore his Test average jumps from the mid-40s to the high 50s at Lord&rsquo;s. Although Ponting comfortably out-skippered Strauss in Wales &ndash; the arch-tactician/timewaster (delete as appropriate) can have few complaints over his rivals&rsquo; delaying manoeuvres at the end of the match. Strauss is a 4/1 shot with Boylesports to be top England runs scorer which looks better value than an out-of-sorts KP who will no doubt come good later on in the series. I also wouldn&rsquo;t put anyone off buying his first innings runs with Sporting Index if England elect to bat first.<br /><br />Conditions at Lord&rsquo;s will suit Aussie seamer Ben Hilfenhaus who made the most of Brett Lee&rsquo;s absence to close with impressive first Test figures. Swing-prone Lord&rsquo;s will suit his game even better than the Cardiff pitch that turned more for the maligned Nathan Hauritz than it did for the blunt Graeme Swann or predictable Monty Panesar. So, having breached the void in the Australia attack created by Lee&rsquo;s injury, I like the look of Hilfenhaus to claim the best figures for Ponting&rsquo;s boys and be the top Australian bowler at 3/1 on Betdaq.<br /><br />One of England&rsquo;s few bright sparks with the ball last week; Andrew Flintoff has since reacquainted himself with the medical room, and may well be forced to sit it out. An off-form Panesar has not looked the man of old and, despite upstaging a number of his teammates with the bat, may face the chop. Either way, and with England needing to freshen things up, it would now make for a bigger surprise if the ECB didn&rsquo;t schedule in a Lord&rsquo;s appointment for Steve Harmison.<br /><br />Should the 2005 tormentor return, he would add value to the 4/5 on general offer for there to be more than 1.5 runs in the first over total runs market. He&rsquo;s always got a loose delivery in him, and Mitchell Johnson is more than capable of sending a wild one down too if he opens.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br />Australia to win second Test at 7/4 (Boylesports)<br />Australia first innings lead on handicap -33.5 at 5/6 (general)<br />Strauss top English batsman at 4/1 (Boylesports)<br />Buy Strauss first innings runs with Sporting Index if England elect to bat first<br />Hilfenhaus top Australian bowler at 3/1 (Betdaq)<br />More than 1.5 runs in the first over at 4/5 (general)<br />