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English skipper Joe Root has confirmed the playing XI of the English team for the opening Ashes Test against Australia starting tomorrow at the Gabba in Brisbane. It is expected to be a mouth-watering contest as both teams have some exceptional players in their ranks. Injury issues pegged England, but as of now, Moeen Ali and Jake Ball has recovered in time to be part of the playing XI for the opening Test.
England, who is the current holder of the Ashes urn, has made two changes to the squad that played in the final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville. Jake Ball replaced a potential debutant Craig Overton, while the leading wicket-taker in the history of England Test cricket James Anderson replaces spinner Mason Crane. It was a struggle between Ball and Overton for the final seamer’s, and eventually, it was Ball’s experience which helped him get the nod ahead of Overton who performed pretty well in the warm-up clashes.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. Craig has come into the squad, and everything asked of him he’s done well. All the players on their first tour have impressed, and it’s great that the whole squad seems to be performing.
“Jake has bowled well when he’s had his opportunity on the tour and the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians,” skipper Joe Root said.
Meanwhile, Australia has also named tier playing XI, and despite an injury scare to opener David Warner, the southpaw has been named in the team. In case he fails to recover, Maxwell who has been flown in as a cover will replace him in the XI.
England XI for the opening Test in Gabba: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, James Anderson