Rain ruins opening day at Lord's


THE  start of the second Ashes Test has been delayed with day one abandoned without a ball bowled, following an anticlimactic opening Wednesday at Lord's.

The toss was slated for 7.30pm (EST) but the pitch was blanketed with heavy covers for the majority of the day.

There was a brief hope some play could go ahead when the umpires announced a time for the toss mid-afternoon. But five minutes before it was scheduled the rain returned and the players took an early tea. 

Umpires Aleem Dar and Chris Gaffaney convened after tea and called an end to the day's play, with more rain incoming, at 4.20pm local time.

Australia hold a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series, having won by 251 runs at Edgbaston thanks largely to two centuries from Steve Smith.

James Pattinson has been rested from the clash in London but the tourists are yet to confirm whether Josh Hazlewood or Mitchell Starc will claim his place in the XI.

England captain Joe Root is also yet to announce his team, with the hosts weighing up whether to leave left-arm spinner Jack Leach on the sidelines and bank on an all-pace attack.