The Ashes starts from tomorrow and it begins from the Gabba in Brisbane, where England haven’t won since 1986. It promises to be a fascinating series as the English begin their title defense down under.
Ahead of the first test, here are the things you must know –
Australia announced their squad for the first two tests and the players are-
Steven Smith (Capt.), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Peter Handscomb, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
England have already announced their starting eleven for the first match but their full squad consists-
Joe Root (capt.), James Anderson, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Steven Finn, Craig Overton, George Garton.
1st Test Preview:
Australia will be eyeing a perfect start to a ground where they haven’t lost since 1988. History are in their favour but the current form has given the visitors some edge as the English have been a better side in the longest format for the last couple of years. Australia haven’t fared to well but home advantage will be another prospect they will be banking on.
England are without Ben Stokes for the first match and Aussies are still in doubt whether David Warner will play as he has a neck problem while Shaun Marsh is also doubtful with a back problem.
Steve Smith on Pace Attack: “A couple of the nets sessions I’ve had against Cummins and Starc have been quite scary, so that’s really exciting for us. They’ve been building up to this – they’re fresh, they’re bowling fast.”
Joe Root on Stokes’ absence: “If you asked any captain in the world in any form of cricket, ‘Would you prefer to have Ben Stokes in your squad?’, they’d all say yes.
“He’s someone who can win you a game within a session with both bat and ball. He will be a big miss to us but we have to get on with things. I’m more than happy with the squad we’ve got.”
The match will be telecast live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD from 05.30 IST from Thursday.