Australia captain Tim Paine on Thursday won the toss against England and chose to bat first at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham in the first Test match of the five-match Ashes series. Notably, this match will inaugurate the World Test Championship (2019-21).
“We are going to have a bat first. The wicket looks nice, hard and dry; hopefully, we’ll post a good score in the first innings. It’s exciting for me personally, it’s huge to be involved in the Ashes and the boys are pumped. Really excited for the first hour and session of play. (Peter) Siddle is playing, he’s got the nod as he’s a world-class performer. We have six changes from the last Test, so can’t go through them all. We have got (Cameron) Bancroft, (David) Warner, (Usman) Khawaja, (Steve) Smith, (Travis) Head, (Matthew) Wade, myself (Tim Paine). We have spoken about getting the right combination to take 20 wickets in all conditions. Siddle complements the other two pacers well. The boys are happy to have them (Warner, Smith & Bancroft) back in our set up, they’re quality players,” said Paine after winning the toss.
England skipper Joe Root said: “I am not disappointed, to be honest. Hopefully, we can exploit the overcast conditions, there might be something in it for the bowlers. We got a very strong bowling unit in these conditions. We have come a long way (since the last Ashes.) We always love playing here as we get fantastic support. The atmosphere is always electric. Jofra (Archer) is a fine talent, he’s a young man and he hasn’t played huge amount of cricket. We also have the luxury of having two guys (Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes) who bowled really well in the last week against Ireland. They (Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler) are world-class players and a big part of this Test team. They’ve played a crucial role for us in the past. It’s always a positive when you have such experienced players coming back in the team.”
Here are the Playing XIs of both the teams:
Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper/captain), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon
England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (captain), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson