JACK Leach has been tipped for inclusion in the second Ashes Test, as England crumbled to a 251-run defeat in the first match of the series at Edgbaston.

Australia captain Steve Smith scored 144 and 142 in his two innings, and spin bowler Nathan Lyon ripped through England to finish with 6-49 as the hosts collapsed to 146 all out on the fifth day.

England's spinners failed to have the same impact, with Moeen Ali going for 172 runs across the two Australia innings and only claiming three wickets, and part-time spinners Joe Denly and Joe Root also proving expensive.

Smith has been the star of the match, and he now averages 78.12 in 17 Tests against England.

The key to getting him out could well be left-arm spin (against which he averages only 34) – and that brings us to Somerset's Leach.

The 28-year-old was England's man of the match against Ireland, after a crucial second-innings score of 92, but was dropped for the opening clash with Australia.

Cricket journalists Simon Hughes and Chris Stocks are among those to have raised Leach as a strong candidate to play in the second Test at Lord's.

Jo Harman, magazine editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, said on the magazine's most recent podcast that Leach was "knocking on the door", after taking "stacks and stacks of wickets" in county cricket over the last few seasons.

The England selectors have more than a week to decide whether Leach does make the cut for the second Test, which begins on Wednesday, August 14.