Ashes 2019: Starc and Hazlewood dropped as Australia bat first at Edgbaston

By Sports Desk August 01, 2019

Australia have left out Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for the first Ashes Test against England, in which the tourists will bat first after winning the toss at Edgbaston.

The exclusion of Starc, the Cricket World Cup's leading wicket-taker, had been predicted in the days leading up to the series opener, but Hazlewood also missed out on selection.

Australia captain Tim Paine confirmed at the toss that James Pattinson and Peter Siddle had got the nod to partner Pat Cummins in his pace attack. Pattinson will be making his first Test appearance since February 2016 after returning from radical back surgery, while Siddle returns having impressed for Essex in the English County Championship.

Starc has struggled to produce his best form in recent red-ball action, but leaving him out still represents something of a gamble from Australia given his outstanding performances during the World Cup in England and Wales.

"It's difficult to leave them out," said Paine of Starc and Hazlewood. "They've been quality performers for a long time but they're going to play a part in the series."

As expected, Cameron Bancroft ousts Marcus Harris at the top of the order, the former returning to the Test arena along with David Warner and Steve Smith following the trio's bans for their roles in last year's ball-tampering scandal. Matthew Wade was picked to bat at six, ahead of Mitchell Marsh.

England named their team on Wednesday. The fit-again James Anderson, who turned 37 on Tuesday, has been included but there is no place for Jofra Archer.

Home skipper Root will bat at number three, having previously expressed a preference for coming in at four.

The opening day's play looked set to start on schedule at 11am local time, but afternoon showers were forecast in Birmingham.

 

England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (captain), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (captain), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.

Related items

  • Wood takes four as England wrap up 3-1 series victory over South Africa Wood takes four as England wrap up 3-1 series victory over South Africa

    England wrapped up a comprehensive 3-1 series win over South Africa as their bowlers sealed a 191-run victory on day four of the fourth Test at The Wanderers.

    Rassie van der Dussen agonisingly missed out on his first Test century as England took 10 wickets on Monday in Johannesburg to complete the win with a day to spare.

    Chasing a world-record target of 466 in the fourth Test, South Africa had made a solid start on day four before losing captain Faf du Plessis (35) and Van der Dussen (98) in the last 10 minutes before tea.

    That dropped the Proteas from 181-2 to 187-4 and England quickly got rid of the home side's lower order in the final session for a third consecutive triumph, Mark Wood (4-54) ending with nine wickets in the match.

  • Five-wicket Wood thankful for Holding hint as England press home advantage Five-wicket Wood thankful for Holding hint as England press home advantage

    England paceman Mark Wood sealed the second five-wicket haul of his Test career and then thanked West Indies great Michael Holding for a priceless piece of advice.

    Wood's probing returned figures of 5-46 at The Wanderers as South Africa were all out for 183 on day three of the fourth Test, before England posted 248 in their second innings to set the hosts a world-record run chase.

    South Africa will have two days to get the 466 runs they require to win the match and draw the series, but it is a tall order.

    And with Wood showing sizzling form with the ball, South Africa may struggle to take the contest to a fifth day.

    Asked about his bowling display, Wood said: "I'm over the moon."

    Returning from knee and side injuries to reclaim his England place, a conversation Wood had with Holding yielded a morsel of great wisdom from the man who took 249 wickets for West Indies in 60 Tests.

    By lengthening his run-up, Wood has taken some of the explosive element out of his action, which should help on the fitness front, and the suggestion came from 65-year-old Holding.

    Wood told Sky Sports: "I wish I'd changed my run-up sooner. Some guy did mention it to me..."

    With a nod to Holding, who is working for the broadcaster, Wood explained: "He said, 'You're putting too much strain on your body, lengthen your run-up', and since I've done that it's been a lot better.

    "I've got a little bit more momentum. It takes a little bit more pressure off my body, whereas off my short run it felt like I had to force it. You're not going to have rhythm every day when you're running in.

    "The days where I didn't quite feel it, I was still having to force it and I was putting that extra strain on my body, so it's been nice to take a load off and just feel my way in but still bowl quickly.

    "I was stubborn to change it because it had worked for me up to a point. But if I was going to play more cricket or if I was going to improve, I was going to have to change something.

    "I just felt it was the right time for me to change it. I wish I had done it earlier, but it's all in the past now."

    England's second innings saw opener Dom Sibley make 44, with captain Joe Root adding 58 and all-rounder Sam Curran plundering a rapid 35.

    Curran hailed Wood's efforts and reflected the mood in the camp by stressing the tourists are on a high, with their victory prospects looking strong.

    Curran told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast: "It's a great position to be in at the close, maybe we would have liked to have been batting tomorrow, but the lead is nice.

    "It was nice to have a bit of fun out there with Rooty. Woody with five wickets, what a man, the team is so happy, he's one of the great guys in cricket. For him to come back from injury and get five is amazing."

  • Sloppy Jamaica lose 56-67 to New Zealand in Nations Cup final Sloppy Jamaica lose 56-67 to New Zealand in Nations Cup final

    Sloppy second-half play from Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls resulted in them losing to New Zealand in the final of the 2020 Vitality Nations Cup at the Copper Box Arena in England on Sunday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.