Australia’s newly appointed Test captain Pat Cummins has revealed the Aussie XI for the upcoming first Ashes Test match against England.
The Ashes 2021-22 opener will start on December 08 at the iconic Gabba in Brisbane. David Warner and Marcus Harris will open the innings while Marnus Labuschagne and vice-captain Steve Smith will bat at number three and four, respectively.
There was a lot of competition for the number five spot between Travis Head and Usman Khawaja, but Head’s recent Test representation for the Aussies in the whites gave him the edge over the Queensland captain Khawaja.
Cummins said it was a tight call to choose between Head and Khawaja, but the South Australian has won the race since he’s been a regular part of Aussie XI in the recent past and is ready to go.
“It was a tight one. Both really good options, really strong form. Experience is great from Uzzie (Usman Khawaja), and we feel really lucky to have that in the squad, but Trav’s been playing a lot for us the last couple of years. He’s gone away, and he’s churned out runs in England, here in Australia, and we feel like he’s really ready to go,” said Cummins as quoted by Cricket.com.au.
Alex Carey, who was recently announced as Australia’s next Test wicketkeeper, will keep the wickets in the first Test, while Cameron Green will come in as the all-rounder. Nathan Lyon will be the lone specialist spinner, while Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will join the pace bowling attack headed by Cummins himself.
Here is Australia XI for the Ashes opener:
Pat Cummins (c), Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.