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Ashes 2017/18: England name starting 11 for first Ashes Test

2.50K   //    22 Nov 2017, 12:56 IST

Root will captain in his first Ashes Test at the Gabba that begins on Thursday
Root will captain in his first Ashes Test at the Gabba that begins on Thursday

Joe Root's first Test as skipper in the Ashes will begin with three front-line pacers and Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali trying to fill the Ben Stokes-sized hole in the all-rounder department. Gary Ballance along with the trio of Ashes debutants Tom Curran, Craig Overton and Ben Foakes missed out on the side for the Gabba Test.

England have named five front-line batsman and Jonny Bairstow as the keeper and opted to go with two all-rounders and three front-line seamers with their all-time leading wicket-taker leading the bowling line-up.

Despite the injury concern over Jake Ball, who injured his ankle during the pink ball game against Cricket Australia XI at Adelaide, the Nottingham fast bowler makes the side. He will be part of the four-pronged pace attack consisting of himself, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.

Speaking about the decision to go with Ball, Root said: "It wasn't an easy decision. Craig has come into the squad and everything asked of him he's done really 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."

In the middle-order, England have opted for the inexperienced duo of Dawid Malan and James Vince over the experienced Gary Ballance, who will miss out on the first Test. Jonny Bairstow will look to provide a sense of stability to the side in the absence of Ben Stokes, who is rumoured to make a comeback before the end of the Ashes.

England have made quite a few changes to the Ashes squad ever since they first announced. Steve Finn was announced as Ben Stokes' replacement following the all-rounder's altercation in Bristol. Following Finn's injury, Tom Curran was called up to the squad.

For the opener, England have opted for experience in the bowling line-up and attacking intent in the batting order as they look to retain the Ashes which they won in England in 2015.

England XI: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (C), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, James Anderson.

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