Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook ready for tough England decisions

Second Test: England v Australia

  • Venue: Lord's, London
  • Date: 18-22 July
  • Start time: 11:00 BST

Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 long wave and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app, BBC Sport website & BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, app & mobile devices

Alastair Cook has said England are not afraid of making any "tough decisions" ahead of the second Ashes Test at Lord's which begins on Thursday.

Speculation surrounds paceman Steven Finn's starting spot after he struggled with the ball in the thrilling 14-run opening triumph against Australia.

Analysis

"Steven Finn is a bowler short on confidence and Australia know it.

"In the manner of a pride of lions picking off an old wildebeest from the back of the pack, Australia attacked Finn at Trent Bridge because they could see he was struggling.

"I cannot see Finn retaining his place at Lord's, which is a shame because it is his home ground and he actually bowls quite well there."

"You pick a side you think can win and you have to make tough decisions," the 28-year-old captain said.

James Anderson will play despite his exertions in Nottingham.

The seam bowler took 10 wickets, including all four on a tense final day, as England clung on for victory.

"James Anderson was sore the day after the game, but he seems OK now," Cook told BBC Radio 5 live.

"We have a great medical team, and he will be fine come Thursday."

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior has also dismissed fears  he could miss out because of a niggling Achilles injury.

At Trent Bridge - the first of five Tests - Finn took two wickets in 25 overs at a cost of 117 runs during the two innings.

The 6ft 7in fast bowler proved particularly expensive during the final day, as Australia smashed him for 24 runs in two overs near the death.

Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions are his potential replacements, after England chose to name an unchanged 13-man squad.

The Ashes: England v Australia

July

10-14 1st Test, Trent Bridge - England win by 14 runs

18-22 2nd Test, Lord's

August

1-5 3rd Test, Old Trafford

9-13 4th Test, Chester-le-Street

21-25 5th Test, The Oval

But Middlesex man Finn has enjoyed a fine record on his home ground of Lord's, taking 29 wickets at 20.65 in five Tests, and Cook revealed selection could be influenced by a player's previous performance at a ground.

"Your record at a certain place can play a part," he said. "You always try to find the balance of the attack for the conditions you find; past form and past bowling [at a venue] is very important."

Opponents Australia come into the Test on the back of media reports there is a rift in their camp.

This followed the leak of confidential legal documents  tendered to court by former coach Mickey Arthur, which Australia's Seven Network claimed contain accusations that captain Michael Clarke and all-rounder Shane Watson are at loggerheads.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Clarke insisted his squad would not be distracted by the story.

"There is nothing to address, we are moving forward as a team," he said. "The feeling around the group is outstanding.

"Our eyes are focused on this Test match, and that is what we care about. We are not getting involved in the past."