Australia will look to defend the urn, having held the Ashes for two series in a row since 2017, as they host England in the first Test at the Gabba, starting December 8 (Wednesday). The five-match series will be a part of the second phase of the ICC World Test Championship.
England have named a 12-member squad for the first Test that sees Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson miss out. England’s decision to bench Anderson is down to workload management as they want to keep him fresh for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.
England’s batting will be heavily dependant on their captain Joe Root, who has been in a league of his own in 2021. Having amassed 1455 runs in 12 matches, Joe Root is the only Test player across the world to have aggregated more than 1000 runs this calendar year.
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Australia, on the other hand, will begin a new era under captain Pat Cummins, who was handed over the baton after Tim Paine stepped down. Behind the stumps, Alex Carey is set to don the gloves in the absence of Paine.
David Warner, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne will form the spine of Australia’s batting lineup while Cummins along with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will shoulder the bowling responsibilities.
Australia vs England, 1st Test
Venue: Gabba, Brisbane
Date & Time: December 8th-12th, at 5:30 AM IST
There’ll be the typical bounce off this Gabba pitch, which true to form should quicken up as the first day wears on.
Ashes 2021 – 1st Test – Predicted Playing XI
Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood/Jack Leach
Ashes 2021 – 1st Test – Fantasy Team Suggestions
Fantasy Team 1: Jonny Bairstow, Steven Smith (vc), Joe Root (c), Travis Head, Ben Stokes, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Stuart Broad, Josh Hazlewood, Ollie Edward Robinson, Mitchell Starc
Fantasy Team 2: Alex Carey, David Warner, Steven Smith, Joe Root, Haseeb Hameed, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes (vc), Marnus Labuschagne (c), Stuart Broad, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins