England XI confirmed, Australia still undecided
It will be the first time since the 2005 Ashes series that England will be without stalwart-opening batsman Alastair Cook against the Australians in red ball cricket. With aspirations to win back that cherished little-urn that the Aussies currently hold after a convincing 4-0 series victory at home in 2017-18, England’s maiden-World Cup title has come just at the right time. The hosts will introduce a new opening combination in this series with Rory Burns and prolific limited-overs excitement machine Jason Roy teaming up together at the top of the order followed by skipper Joe Root at No. 3. The in-form Ben Stokes is set to play a major role in this Ashes series, meanwhile Jonny Bairstow is expected to add plenty of depth to this England XI with Moeen Ali to follow. Veteran-seamer Jimmy Anderson has been declared fit for the first test at Edgbaston, teaming up with fellow-experienced quick Stuart Broad with the swinging duke. Moeen Ali will be used as the specialist spinner with Jack Leach missing out despite his batting heroics against Ireland.
England – 1. Jason Roy 2. Rory Burns 3. Joe Root (c) 4. Joe Denly 5. Jos Buttler 6. Ben Stokes 7. Jonny Bairstow (wk) 8. Moeen Ali 9. Chris Woakes 10. Stuart Broad 11. James Anderson.
Australian coach Justin Langer has some selection headaches ahead of this first Ashes test at Edgbaston. The in-form Matthew Wade is knocking down the door for a spot in his country’s starting XI, and with Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh competing for a spot in the middle-order, it isn’t helping their cause. It appears there is some form of selection clarity at the top of Australia’s order though, Cameron Bancroft looks set to join both David Warner and Usman Khawaja in Australia’s top three followed by Steve Smith who could potentially move up the order given his class with the bat. Amazingly, star-quick Mitchell Starc could be squeezed out of Australia’s XI despite having a stellar 2019 World Cup campaign with the ball. Pat Cummins and the returning James Pattinson look set to have locked in a spot respectively, while Josh Hazlewood looks likely to narrowly-edge out Peter Siddle for that third seam option in the side. That leaves Mitchell Starc on the outer which would be a huge bombshell, especially given his potency with the new ball.
Australia (possible) – 1. David Warner 2. Cameron Bancroft 3. Usman Khawaja 4. Steve Smith 5. Travis Head/Mitchell Marsh 6. Matthew Wade 7. Tim Paine (c & wk) 8. Pat Cummins 9. James Pattinson/Mitchell Starc 10. Nathan Lyon 11. Josh Hazlewood/Peter Siddle.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.