England have confirmed paceman Jake Ball’s inclusion in their playing XI for the first Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba from Thursday.
Ball, who last played a Test in India last December, overcame an ankle injury to complete a four-man pace attack with James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.
Commenting on the team, Root said: “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.”
Spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali is set to bat at No.6, with wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow to come in at No.7, but the final batting order won’t be confirmed until the toss on Thursday morning.
Moeen’s reported elevation from No.8 to No.6, effectively in place of suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes, would allow Bairstow to remain in the position where he has batted since taking over wicketkeeping duties on a full-time basis two years ago.
The rest of England’s line-up is as expected with Mark Stoneman partnering veteran Alastair Cook at the top of the order. James Vince will return to the side at No.3, skipper Joe Root at his customary No.4 and rookie left-hander Dawid Malan at No.5.