Shocking weather hampers second Ashes Test at Lord's

The start of the second Ashes Test has been delayed because of rain, with further showers forecast on what shapes to be an anticlimactic opening day at Lord's.

The toss was slated for 7.30pm AEST but it is possible the entire day's play will be washed out.

The pitch was blanketed with heavy covers throughout what should have been the opening 90 minutes of play, during which the most encouraging sign was groundsmen sweeping water off them.

Umpires had a brief inspection of some wet patches in the outfield when the coin was due to be tossed.

The iconic venue is renowned for its efficient drainage, a combination of the 2.5-metre slope and work on the outfield completed in 2002.

But rain is tipped to bucket down throughout the opening day.

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.

Heavy showers have delayed the start of the second Test at Lord's. Pic: Getty

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.

Root suggested the prospect of losing a day to wet weather wouldn't influence England's selectors.

"You've got to keep an open mind and Test cricket is all about adapting anyway," Root said in his pre-match press conference.

"I'm sure that if the weather throws up some surprises or has a big say in things, we'll have to make sure we manage that well."